Fomivirsen (Vitravene), an anti-CMV agent, is the first antisense oligonucleotide to be approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an antiviral therapy. Fomivirsen is an oligonucleotide complementary to the major immediate early region 2 (IE2) of CMV mRNA. By binding to IE2 mRNA, fomivirsen prevents its translation to protein and thereby blocks viral replication. Because this mechanism of action is different from that of other antiviral agents, cross-resistance with other drugs used to treat CMV is unlikely.
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