• By Anni Griswold
    Fera Pharmaceuticals
    Cornea/External Disease

    Acyclovir, a gold standard for treating herpes virus infections, is now available in an ophthalmic formulation in the United States. Fera Pharmaceutical’s new drug application for Avaclyr, a 3% acyclovir ointment, was approved by the FDA on Monday. The agency also awarded orphan drug status, providing Fera with exclusive rights to market the drug for the next 7 years. 

    “Working closely with the eye care community, we were able to identify a need for additional options to treat herpetic keratitis,” said Frank DellaFera, Fera’s founder and president. “It made sense to provide [acyclovir] in an ophthalmic dosage form.”

    Avaclyr is indicated for the treatment of acute herpetic keratitis in patients with herpes simplex 1 or 2 infection. As many as 10% of patients may experience eye stinging, punctate keratitis or follicular conjunctivitis when using the product, Fera noted.

    The company is currently seeking a commercialization partner to market the product to physicians and patients.