New therapies for chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
Chronic hepatitis C infection is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in addition to substantial social and health-related costs. Since the identification of the virus and determination of the HCV genome over a decade ago, considerable progress has been made in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection. However, the current standard combination of interferon-based therapies and ribavirin is effective in only 50% of patients. In addition, this combination is expensive, requires lengthy periods of administration, and is associated with significant side effects. Furthermore, no effective preventive measure, such as vaccination, is currently available. A number of newer therapies, including protease and helicase inhibitors, ribozymes, antisense therapies, and therapeutic vaccines, are in preclinical and clinical development and may significantly enhance existing therapeutic options for the future.
Dev, A; Patel, K; McHutchison, JG
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