An Odyssey in antiviral drug development—50 years at the Rega Institute: 1964–2014
- Erik De Clercq
- Acta pharmaceutica Sinica. B
There are a number of virus-specific processes within the virus replicative cycle or virus-infected cell that have proven to be attractive targets for chemotherapeutic intervention, i.e., virus adsorption and entry into the cells, reverse (RNA --> DNA) transcription, viral DNA polymerization, and cellular enzymatic reactions that are associated with viral DNA and RNA synthesis and viral mRNA maturation (i.e., methylation). A variety of chemotherapeutic agents, both nucleoside (and nucleotide) and non-nucleoside entities, have been identified that specifically interact with these viral targets, that selectively inhibit virus replication, and that are either used or considered for clinical use in the treatment of virus infections in humans. Their indications encompass virtually all major human viral pathogens, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), human papilloma virus (HPV), orthomyxoviruses (influenza A and B), paramyxoviruses [e.g., respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)] and hemorrhagic fever viruses (such as Ebola virus).