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Chapter 8

The Challenges of Flavivirus Drug Discovery

Many flaviviruses are human pathogens of global importance, but no antiviral medicines are currently available to manage these diseases. Over the past decade, significant progress has been made towards the understanding of flavivirus biology. Structural information is available for all of the important proteins of the dengue virus, which has provided important insight into the mechanistic aspects of replication. Mechanistic and structural studies on the envelope protein have provided information on the cell entry mechanism of the flavivirus genus. All of these advances have established the foundation for the development of pharmacological treatments of flavivirus infections using modern drug discovery. While both industry and academia have invested considerable effort on the development of flavivirus antivirals and a number of compounds with efficacies in cell culture and animal models have been obtained, very few drug candidates have reached the stage of clinical development. In this review we summarize the current status of flavivirus drug discovery, focusing on the challenges and discussing potential paths forward.

Print publication date: 04 Nov 2011
Copyright year: 2012
Print ISBN: 978-1-84973-192-8
PDF eISBN: 978-1-84973-349-6
From the book series:
Drug Discovery