The Development of Novel HCV NS3-4A Protease Inhibitors
Continual genetic variation supports hepatitis C virus (HCV) persistent infection, a leading cause of cirrhosis
and hepatocellular carcinoma. The current standard of care has limited efficacy and is associated with severe adverse effects.
Efforts to improve patients’ outcomes have focused on the design and development of small molecule compounds
targeted towards essential viral proteins. Following the clinical success of HIV protease inhibitors, the HCV NS3-4A protease
domain emerged as one of the most successful antiviral drug targets. This mini-review describes several HCV protease
inhibitors in the various stages of clinical trials, and discusses their antiviral activities, pharmacokinetic properties,
side effects and resistance profiles.
Keywords: Drug resistance, hepatitis C, HCV, NS3, protease inhibitor.
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