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Virus Res. 2011 May;157(2):212-21. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2010.11.004. Epub 2010 Nov 21.

The search for new therapies for human cytomegalovirus infections.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL 35233-1711, USA. mprichard@peds.uab.edu


Ganciclovir (GCV), the therapy of choice for human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections and foscarnet, a drug used to treat GCV-resistant CMV infections was approved more than twenty years ago. Although cidofovir and a prodrug of GCV have since been added to the armamentarium, a highly effective drug without significant toxicities has yet to be approved. Such a therapeutic agent is required for treatment of immunocompromised hosts and infants, which bear the greatest burden of disease. The modest antiviral activity of existing drugs is insufficient to completely suppress viral replication, which results in the selection of drug-resistant variants that remain pathogenic, continue to replicate, and contribute to disease. Sustained efforts, largely in the biotech industry and academia, have identified highly active lead compounds that have progressed into clinical studies with varying levels of success. A few of these compounds inhibit new molecular targets, remain effective against isolates that have developed resistance to existing therapies, and promise to augment existing therapies. Some of the more promising drugs will be discussed with an emphasis on those progressing to clinical studies. Their antiviral activity both in vitro and in vivo, spectrum of antiviral activity, and mechanism of action will be reviewed to provide an update on the progress of potential new therapies for CMV infections.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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