Open Access Research article

Efficacy of topical cobalt chelate CTC-96 against adenovirus in a cell culture model and against adenovirus keratoconjunctivitis in a rabbit model

Seth P Epstein1*, Yevgenia Y Pashinsky1, David Gershon2, Irene Winicov2, Charlie Srivilasa1, Katarina J Kristic1 and Penny A Asbell1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA

2 Redox Pharmaceutical Corporation, Greenvale, New York, USA

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BMC Ophthalmology 2006, 6:22  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-6-22

Published: 5 June 2006



Adenovirus (Ad), associated with significant morbidity, has no topical treatment. A leading CTC compound (CTC-96), a CoIII chelate, was found to have potent in vitro and in vivo antiviral efficacy against herpes viruses. In this study CTC-96 is being tested for possible anti-Adenovirus activity.


The biological anti-adenovirus activity of CTC-96 in concentrations from 5 to 250 ug/ml, was evaluated initially by viral inactivation (viral exposure to CTC-96 followed by dilution and inoculation of cells), virucidal (viral exposure to CTC-96 and inoculation of cells without dilution) and antiviral (effect of CTC-96 on previously adsorbed virus) plaque assays on HeLa (human cervical carcinoma), A549 (human lung carcinoma) and SIRC (rabbit corneal) cells. After verifying the antiviral activity, New Zealand White rabbits were infected with Ad-5 into: 1) the anterior cul-de-sac scarifying the conjunctiva (Group "C+"); 2) the anterior cul-de-sac scarifying the conjunctiva and cornea (Group "CC+"); 3) the stroma (Group "CI+"). Controls were sham-infected ("C-", "CC-", "CI-"). Other rabbits, after "CC", were treated for 21 days with: 1) placebo, 9x/day ("-"); 2) CTC-96, 50 ug/ml, 9x/day ("50/9"); CTC-96, 50 ug/ml, 6x/day ("50/6"); CTC-96, 25 ug/ml, 6x/day ("25/6"). All animals were monitored via examination and plaque assays.


In vitro viral inactivation, virucidal and antiviral assays all demonstrated CTC-96 to be effective against Adenvirus type 5 (ad-5). The in vivo model of Ad keratoconjunctivitis most similar to human disease and producing highest viral yield was "CC". All eyes (6/6) developed acute conjunctivitis. "CI" yielded more stromal involvement (1/6) and iritis (5/6), but lower clinical scores (area × severity). Infection via "C" was inconsistent (4/6). Fifty (50) ug/ml was effective against Ad-5 at 6x, 9x dosings while 25 ug/ml (6x) was only marginally effective.


CTC-96 demonstrated virucidal activity against Ad5 in tissue culture with HeLa, A549 and SIRC cell lines.

Animal Model Development: 1) "CC" produced conjunctival infection with occasional keratitis similar to human disease; "CI" yielded primarily stromal involvement; 2) "C" consistently produced neither conjunctivitis nor keratitis.

CTC Testing: 1) Conjunctivitis in all eyes; 2) Resolution fastest in "50/9" ("50/9". "50/6" > "25/6" > "-"); 3) Efficacy in "50/6" was not statistically different than "50/9"; 4) Conjunctival severity was lower in treatment groups then controls; 5) Little corneal or intra-ocular changes were noted.