Helicase-primase as a target of new therapies for herpes simplex virus infections

Academic Article


  • The seminal discovery of acyclovir 40 years ago heralded themodern era of truly selective antiviral therapies and this drug remains the therapy of choice for herpes simplex virus infections. Yet by modern standards, its antiviral activity ismodest and new drugs against novelmolecular targets such as the helicase-primase have the potential to improve clinical outcome, particularly in high-risk patients. A brief synopsis of current therapies for these infections and clinical need is provided to help provide an initial perspective. The function of the helicase-primase complex is then summarized and the development of new inhibitors of the helicase-primase complex, such as pritelivir and amenamevir, is discussed. We review their mechanismof action, propensity for drug resistance, and pharmacokinetic characteristics and discuss their potential to advance current therapeutic options. Strategies that include combinations of these inhibitors with acyclovir are also considered, as they will likelymaximize clinical efficacy.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • James SH; Larson KB; Acosta EP; Prichard MN
  • Start Page

  • 66
  • End Page

  • 78
  • Volume

  • 97
  • Issue

  • 1