Background: Influenza is a seasonal disease that affects millions of people every year and
has a significant economic impact. Vaccines are the best strategy to fight this viral pathology, but they
are not always available or administrable, prompting the search for antiviral drugs. RNA-dependent
RNA polymerase (RdRp) recently emerged as a promising target because of its key role in viral replication
and its high conservation among viral strains.
Discussion: This review presents an overview of the most interesting RdRp inhibitors that have been
discussed in the literature since 2000. Compounds already approved or in clinical trials and a selection
of inhibitors endowed with different scaffolds are described, along with the main features responsible
for their activity.
Results: RdRp inhibitors are emerging as a new strategy to fight viral infections and the importance
of this class of drugs has been confirmed by the FDA approval of baloxavir marboxil in 2018. Despite
the complexity of the RdRp machine makes the identification of new compounds a challenging research
topic, it is likely that in the coming years, this field will attract the interest of a number of academic
and industrial scientists because of the potential strength of this therapeutic approach.