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Rev Med Virol. 2002 May-Jun;12(3):167-78.

Non-nucleoside inhibitors of herpesviruses.

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  • 1Infectious Diseases Research, Pharmacia Corp, Kalamazoo, MI 49001, USA.


While the treatment of herpes simplex virus with acyclovir and similar nucleoside analogues was one of the first success stories in antiviral chemotherapy, substantial unmet medical needs remain for herpesvirus diseases. In particular, the increasing numbers of immunosuppressed people due to AIDS, transplantation, cancer and aging has driven the need for improved antivirals to treat diseases caused by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Currently available drugs for the treatment of HCMV diseases are less than ideal agents due to issues of toxicity, modest efficacy and poor oral bioavailability. High throughput screening of large compound collections for inhibitors of specific viral enzymes or inhibition of viral growth in cell culture have identified a number of new HCMV inhibitors at several pharmaceutical companies. These compounds act by inhibition of novel molecular targets such as the viral protein kinase, viral protease and viral proteins involved in DNA cleavage/packaging. In addition, novel non-nucleoside inhibitors of the herpesvirus DNA polymerase have recently been described. This review will summarise some of these research efforts and will focus on non-nucleoside compounds that directly inhibit a viral process.

Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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