Avid Therapeutics, a Philadelphia-based private company which isdeveloping drugs for treatment of serious viral diseases, has securedthe rights to two molecular targets for herpes discovered by ARCHDevelopment Corp.The targets, identified as herpes UL13 protein kinase and relatedkinases for cytomegalovirus (CMV) and varicella foster virus (VZV),were discovered by Bernard Roizman at the University of Chicago.ARCH Development is an affiliate of the university formed tocommercialize the school's technology.Terms of the licensing agreement call for ARCH to make an equityinvestment in Avid. But Richard Driansky, Avid's executive vicepresident, said details are confidential. Avid intends to use the kinasesin tests to identify small molecule drugs that could be used to treat theviruses.CMV is a common cause of intrauterine infection, but CMV retinitiscan result in major problems for immunosurpressed patients, such asthose with AIDS, according to Avid. VZV is a cause of chicken poxand shingles.Avid was founded two years ago. In addition to its agreement withARCH, Avid said it has drug discovery programs underway in theareas of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, respiratory syncytical virus andinfluenza._ Charles Craig
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.