Within recent years 2 compounds, idoxuridine (IUdR, 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine) and amantadine (Symmetrel), have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment or prevention of disease caused by viruses in man. The explosive burst of interest in the biochemistry of the reproduction of both RNA and DNA viruses should provide the medicinal chemist with directions for the design of further compounds that have antiviral activity with favorable therapeutic indices. This optimistic hope should be realized within the next decade. The possible if not probable role of viruses in the induction of at least some neoplasms in man is an extremely important direction of present day activities in virology. The prevention of viral infections by vaccines offers great promise of being extended into those diseases at present not under control. However, even if prevention were achieved it would be advantageous to have drugs that could abort those viral infections that do develop. Although these conclusions may appear enthusiastic, they seem justified in view of the rapid developments being made in our understanding of the biochemistry of viruses and their interrelationship with the host cell on a molecular level.
- 1967 by The Williams & Wilkins Co.