Poludan is the cornerstone of our approach to ocular herpes management.

1. History

By the mid-60s, right after the introduction of the first antiviral agent, idoxuridine (IDU, 5- Iodo-2′-deoxyuridine) by H. E. Kaufman in 1962, it became clear that successful treatment of deep stromal forms of herpes simplex keratitis (keratouveitis) and reliable prevention of recurrence required fundamentally different strategies.

Experimental and clinical research in ophthalmology and virology institutions of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg culminated in a novel approach to treatment – nonspecific antiviral immunotherapy based on local and systemic use of interferonogens or interferon inducers. These agents have a wide range of antiviral activity and are effective immunomodulators.

The best of them is Poludan. It was first referenced in 1972 in an article by professor A.A. Kasparov’s team of researchers.


2. Indications

Over the last 40 years, Poludan has been successfully used to treat herpes simplex keratitis and adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis. Poludan can be introduced topically or by means of repeated peri- or intraocular injections.

Subdermal injections of Poludan at the sites of herpes zoster lesions (shingles) may also be employed to subdue active skin lesions and provide relief from pain.

3. Mechanisms of action

Poludan is a highly effective nontoxic inducer of interferons -α, -β and -γ. Research conducted together with the Department of Immunology at Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University showed that Poludan caused a dramatic increase in activity of natural killer cells (which is low in patients with ocular herpes).

In vitro studies of the effects of Poludan on the immune status revealed that not only did Poludan stimulate natural cytotoxicity (a defense mechanism tasked with removing foreign or infected cells thus inhibiting viral replication), but also promoted functions of other immune cells regulated by interferon.

The effects of interferons induced by Poludan are not limited to disruption of viral reproduction. Its functions as an immunomodulator and regulator of immune reactions which trigger the cytokine cascade are just as crucial.

The effects of Poludan

_Interferon titers (IU) in blood (solid line) and tears (dashed line)

The effects of Poludan were shown:

  1. in experimental studies
  2. in trials dedicated to interferonogenesis in healthy volunteers
  3. in randomized trials on three groups of patients [A.A. Kasparov, O.K. Pereverzina, G.K. Gorbovitskaya, 1991].


  • causes a substantial increase in production of interferons (-α, -β and -γ)
  • stimulates defensive mechanisms (increases the activity of killer T-cells and T helper cells compromised by the virus)
  • boosts activity of other immune cells (macrophages, etc.)
  • inhibits viral replication in host cells
  • triggers a cascade of cytokines, specialized molecules that enable “communication” between cells
  • costs 2-3 times less than Acyclovir: 20 eye dropper bottles (100 units each) vs 40-50 pills (200 mg)

The ability of Poludan to trigger the cytokine cascade is the foundation of our technique titled local express auto-cytokine therapy (LEACKT).