Letermovir for the management of cytomegalovirus infection

Lyndsey J. Bowman, Jennifer Iuppa Melaragno, Daniel Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Available antivirals are fraught with adverse effects and risk for the development of CMV resistance. Letermovir is a novel antiviral in the late stages of drug development for the treatment and prevention of CMV. Areas covered: A MEDLINE search of the MeSH terms ‘letermovir,’ ‘cytomegalovirus,’ ‘hematopoietic stem cell transplant,’ and ‘solid organ transplant,’ was last conducted on 15 August 2016. Articles were selected on the basis of their contribution to current knowledge about letermovir. Expert opinion: Letermovir’s mechanism of action, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile, and favorable efficacy and safety make it an attractive option for both the prevention and treatment of CMV in immunocompromised patients. The lack of cross-resistance with other antivirals and the absence of myelosuppression are two prominent characteristics of letermovir that could support broad use of this product following FDA-approval. One major limitation is its lack of activity against other herpesviruses, which are commonly seen in immunocompromised hosts. We believe that with additional clinical efficacy data, this medication could emerge as a primary option for the prevention and treatment of CMV in the immunocompromised patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cytomegalovirus
  • letermovir
  • terminase inhibitor
  • transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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