chapter  16
28 Pages

Classical antiviral agents and design of new antiviral agents

More than 50 years have elapsed since the discovery of the first antiviral agents, i.e. methisazone and 5-iodo-2′-deoxyuridine. In contrast to the evolution in other fields, the antiviral chemotherapy has evolved very slowly at the start. The reasons therefore are multiple:

• close association between the replicative cycle of the virus and the metabolism of the cell;

• the intracellular location of the virus; • viruses possess considerable fewer virus-associated or -encoded enzymes than bacteria; • effective vaccines have been developed for the prevention of some severe viral

infections; and • antiviral research is a high-risk enterprise for industry.