Erik De Clercq – a lecture at IOCB Prague

On November 26, 2018, Em. Prof. Erik De Clercq (Rega Institute for Medical Research, KU Leuven), a pioneer in antiviral therapies and co-inventor with Prof. Antonín Holý (IOCB Prague) of a key class of drugs to combat HIV, visited IOCB Prague. He gave a lecture covering 50 years of his scientific journey which led to the creation of multiple drugs and millions of patients benefiting from them.

You can find the recording of the lecture in the flexible SlidesLive format here.

Or you can watch it via YouTube here:


Fifty years of research (1968-2018) towards the identification of selective antiviral drugs have been primarily focused on antiviral compounds active against DNA viruses [i.e. herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), hepatitis B virus (HBV)] and retroviruses [i.e. human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)]. For the treatment of HSV infections, the aminoacyl esters of acyclovir were designed, one of which (the valine ester valacyclovir) became the successor of acyclovir in the treatment of HSV and VZV infections. BVDU (Brivudin) still stands out as the most effective among the marketed compounds for the treatment of VZV infections (i.e. herpes zoster), although its potency against VZV is still surpassed by that of FV-100 (the valine ester of Cf1743). In the treatment of HIV infections, ten tenofovir-based drug combinations have been marketed, and the single tenofovir-derived prodrugs tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) have also proved effective in the treatment of HBV infections. As a spin-off of our anti-HIV research, a CXCR4 antagonist, AMD-3100 was found to be therapeutically useful as a stem cell mobilizer and has since 10 years been approved for the treatment of some hematological malignancies.