Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global health problem that affects approximately 170 million people worldwide. The current standard therapy with peginterferon alpha plus ribavirin for 48 weeks results in a sustained virologic response in less than 50% of patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 1-the most prevalent type of HCV in North America and Europe. Development of new antiviral medicines has been hampered by the lack of an effective cell culture system and small-animal model. Herein we review recent progress in the development of new treatments under investigation in clinical trials, including specifically targeted antiviral therapy for HCV such as NS3/4A protease and NS5B polymerase inhibitors.
Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, interferon, polymerase inhibitor, protease inhibitor, ribavirin, STAT-C
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