Raymond F. Schinazi, PhD


Pediatrics, Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology

ARTDTP Research Discipline

Dr. Schinazi directs the Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology (LBP) that uses a multidisciplinary approach to develop and test antivirals that could be used for the treatment life-threatening viral infections. In this respect, the major research emphasis of the LBP is two-fold: 1) the development of antiviral agents for the treatment of infections caused by HIV, hepatitis viruses (HBV, HCV), herpes viruses and Dengue virus; 2) strategies to eradicate viral reservoirs of HIV-1, HBV/HCV and other critical human viral pathogens using novel therapeutic strategies. Work involves molecular modeling, synthetic, biochemical, pharmacological, and molecular genetic approaches, including gene therapy and site-directed mutagenesis. The main objective is to develop pre-clinical, in-house compounds for the prevention and treatment of these important pathogens. Areas of particular interest include the phenotypic and genotypic characterization of drug-resistant virus variants and ways to overcome resistant viruses using combinations of antiviral drugs. Five compounds developed by this group have gone on to advanced clinical studies, and four have already been approved by the FDA for the treatment of HIV-1 or HBV infections. This multidisciplinary antiviral research program is focused on discovering agents that could be used for the treatment of HIV and hepatitis infections and on modalities aimed at preventing the development of drug-resistant viruses. The LBP also has also been a site for training international scientists to obtain training on a shorter basis in specific areas of antiviral discovery, structure, resistance, and pharmacology. Schinazi is the founder of several biotechnology companies focusing on antiviral drug discovery and development, including Pharmasset Inc., Triangle Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead in 2003), Idenix Pharmaceuticals (51% acquired by Novartis in 2003), and RFS Pharma LLC (formed in Sept 2004). He holds more than 70 US patents. He is best known for his work on d4T (stavudine), 3TC (lamivudine), FTC (emtriva), D-D4FC (reverset), RCV (racivir), and DAPD (amdoxovir), drugs that are now approved by the FDA, or are at various stages of clinical development. His inventions now sell more than US $2.0 billion per year and more than 80% of HIV-infected individuals take at least one of the drugs he invented. 

ARTDTP Faculty Collaborators

Dennis C. Liotta, PhD

Jan R. Mead, PhD