Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is found worldwide and represents an important pathogen for immunocompromised individuals.
Currently approved treatments target the viral DNA polymerase.
Letermovir (AIC246, also known as MK-8228) is an oral, once-daily antiviral candidate for prevention and treatment of HCMV infection. It is a first in class molecule derived from a novel chemical class and is designed to inhibit the HCMV viral terminase.
In 2017/2018 Letermovir was approved under the MSD-brand name Prevymis® in the US, the EU, Japan and other countries for the prophylactic therapy of HCMV in bone marrow transplant patients. An HCMV infection is one of the most dangerous complications following transplantation. In clinical trials, Letermovir was able to significantly increase the survival rate for transplant recipients. Letermovir is a first-in-class molecule derived from a novel chemical class and designed to inhibit the viral terminase of the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). It was developed by AiCuris up to Phase 2b and was licensed to Merck & Co. (MSD) in 2012. MSD assumed the worldwide rights for the development and marketing of Letermovir. AiCuris reserved co-promotion rights in the DACH countries.
Letermovir is being developed for further indications. A pivotal study for HCMV prophylaxis in kidney transplant recipients is currently ongoing.