BioScience Trends. 2017;11(1):41-45. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2016.01266)
Research progress on the direct antiviral drugs for hepatitis C virus.
Gao J, Ju C
Hepatitis C, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation, is a severe threat to human health. Pegylated interferon α (INF-α) and ribavirin based therapy was once the standard therapy for HCV infection. However, it is suboptimal in efficacy and poorly tolerated in some patients. In the last five years, four classes of direct antiviral drugs (NAAs) that target non-structural proteins (NS) of the virus including NS3/NS4A, NS5A, and NS5B have been developed and opened a new era in HCV treatment as they are more effective and tolerable than the INF-α and ribavirin combination regimen. Importantly, the newly introduced multiple NAAs combination therapy makes it possible to eradicate all genotypes of HCV. We review recent progress on the research and development of DAAs in the present article.