The global prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the serious consequences associated with the chronic state of the disease have become a worldwide health problem. A combination therapy comprising Interferon-alpha and Ribavirin represents the current standard treatment for chronic HCV infection, although it has demonstrated limited success and causes serious side effects. Promising alternative approaches toward the control of HCV infection include the development of small molecule inhibitors of viral enzymes interfering with the essential steps in the life cycle of the virus. In this review we will focus on inhibitors of the HCV-encoded NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (NS5B RdRp) which is essential for viral replication and has been recognized as a prime target for therapeutic intervention.
Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, NS5B RNA dependent RNA polymerase, antiviral therapy, nucleoside inhibitors, allosteric inhibitors
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