New antiviral therapies in the management of HCV infection

Medizinische Klinik 1, Klinikum der JW Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Antiviral therapy (Impact Factor: 3.02). 05/2012; 17(5):771-83. DOI: 10.3851/IMP2127
Source: PubMed


Improved knowledge of the HCV life cycle and of structural features of HCV proteins have led to the discovery of numerous potential targets for antiviral therapy. Viral replication and polyprotein processing have been tagged as promising viral targets. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis, fusion of HCV with cellular membranes, translation of viral RNA, virus production and release as well as several host cell factors may provide alternative targets for future anti-HCV therapies. Several compounds are currently under investigation in clinical trials and showed high antiviral activity in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Recently, Phase III studies for two protease inhibitors, telaprevir and boceprevir, each given in combination with pegylated interferon (standard of care [SOC]), were completed. In HCV-genotype-1-infected patients, the addition of telaprevir or boceprevir to SOC increased sustained virological response rates from <50% to >70%. Nucleoside/nucleotide inhibitors of the HCV NS5B polymerase have shown antiviral activity against different HCV genotypes, and have a higher barrier to resistance than protease inhibitors. In addition, several allosteric binding sites have been identified for non-nucleoside inhibitors of the NS5B polymerase. Inhibitors of NS5A are potentially active against all HCV genotypes. Among the different host cell-targeting compounds, cyclophilin inhibitors have shown promising results. Future hope lies in the combination of direct-acting antiviral agents with the possibility of interferon-free treatment regimens.

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