The RIDER Institute is crowdfunding $2,000,000 for DRACO antiviral that may be effective against virtually all viruses

An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign began May 3rd to raise funds to test and optimize DRACOs against major clinical viruses.

BOSTON, May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The RIDER Institute has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to fund DRACO broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics, which were invented by Dr. Todd Rider at MIT and for which proof-of-concept experiments were published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE.

The DRACO (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizer) therapeutics have proven effective against 18 viral infections in human and animal cells, including two different strains of H1N1 influenza (flu), four strains of rhinovirus (the common cold), two adenoviruses, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and others. DRACOs have also been effective against influenza and three hemorrhagic fever viruses in initial mouse trials. However, DRACO research has entered the well-known "Valley of Death", in which many promising new drugs struggle to find funding to bridge the gap between proof-of-concept experiments and later large-scale development and trials.

To bypass the Valley of Death, the RIDER Institute launched an Indiegogo Campaign at on May 3, 2016. The campaign will run for 60 days and strive to raise $2,000,000 to test and optimize DRACOs against herpesviruses. The herpesvirus family contains many major clinical viruses such as herpes simplex, varicella zoster (chickenpox and shingles virus), and other important pathogens. If these crowdfunded experiments are successful, they should persuade sponsors to commit further funding to advance DRACOs through preclinical animal trials and ultimately hopefully to human clinical trials.