Prodrugs in the Treatment of Viral Diseases
Prodrug strategies have played a prominent role in the development of drugs to treat viral diseases. Implementation of prodrug approaches has been shown to improve the drug characteristics of agents to treat a wide range of viral diseases, including HIV, HBV, HCV, CMV, VZV, EBV, HSV and influenza. Prodrugs of antiviral agents have been used to address issues such as poor intestinal absorption because of the lack of membrane permeability or poor solubility. Prodrugs have also been used to enable tissue targeting. This chapter addresses the issues and challenges associated with prodrug design and development and highlights a number of case studies where prodrugs of antiviral agents have been used to solve pharmacokinetic or pharmaceutics problems that limited the development of the parent drug.