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J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Feb;24(1):34-42. doi: 10.1089/jop.2007.0084.

Efficacy of a helicase-primase inhibitor in animal models of ocular herpes simplex virus type 1 infection.

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Department of Ophthalmology, LSU Eye Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, USA.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of BAY 57-1293, a helicase-primase inhibitor, on herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) reactivation in mice and its efficacy on established disease in rabbits.


BALB/c mice latent for McKrae-strain HSV-1 were reactivated via heat stress, treated with BAY 57-1293, and their corneas were swabbed for virus or the trigeminal ganglia (TG) obtained for quantification of viral DNA. New Zealand white rabbits were infected and treated topically or orally in comparison with trifluridine or valacyclovir.


Oral BAY 57-1293 suppressed reactivation in HSV-1-infected mice and reduced the viral load in TG up to four orders of magnitude. In the rabbits, the therapeutic efficacies of topical BAY 57-1293 and trifluridine were similar. Once-daily oral BAY 57-1293 was significantly more effective than valacyclovir and as effective as twice a day topical trifluridine.


BAY 57-1293 may be more effective than valacyclovir, without the cytotoxicity or potential healing retardation seen with trifluridine. Oral BAY 57-1293 may be a substitute for eye drops as an effective treatment for herpetic keratitis and might be useful in treating stromal keratitis and iritis, as well as preventing recurrences of ocular herpes.

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