Navigation Links
Will new drugs block hepatitis C virus in its tracks?
Date:6/28/2011

Targeted multi-drug treatments for hepatitis C patients that could stop the virus in its tracks have come a step closer, thanks to researchers at the University of Leeds, UK.

The study by Dr Stephen Griffin and colleagues, published in the journal Hepatology, reveals how two prototype small molecule drugs, known as p7 inhibitors, can each attack different parts of the hepatitis C virus. Their findings suggest that p7 inhibitors could be a powerful way of suppressing hepatitis C, when used together with the latest generation of 'direct-acting' drugs.

More than 170 million people - or 3% of the world's population - are infected with the hepatitis C virus. The virus causes severe liver disease and is a leading cause of liver-related deaths, organ transplants and liver cancer.

At the moment, patients are typically treated with PEGylated interferon alpha (IFN) and ribavirin (Rib) - drugs that work by boosting the patient's immune system. However, the effects of these drugs can depend on the individual patient's genetic make-up. To make matters worse, hepatitis C is often resistant to the therapy and fails to suppress the virus for long enough. The treatment is also expensive and can trigger unpleasant side effects. Many patients stop taking the drugs or do not take them when they should.

To address this, researchers are looking at new classes of drugs that work in a different way to either IFN or Rib and target the virus directly. The aim is to find groups of these 'direct-acting' drugs that each attack a different target, making it much, much harder for the virus to fight back.

University of Leeds researchers are focusing on drugs that target the p7 ion channel - a protein made by hepatitis C that allows the virus to continue spreading. In previous studies, Dr Griffin and colleagues worked out how the p7 ion channel could be blocked by certain types of small molecule, stopping the hepatitis C virus in its tracks. Their latest work looks at two particular classes of p7 inhibitor - adamantanes and alkylated imino-sugars and confirms that these molecules do, indeed, attack their intended target through separate mechanisms.

The researchers used a combination of molecular modelling and lab-based experiments to study the drugs' interaction with hepatitis C. Importantly they observed how the virus responded to the two types of drug and determined that each of these responses was very different. This suggests that the drugs would work well in combination, tackling the virus on a number of fronts.

Lead author, researcher Dr Stephen Griffin, from the University of Leeds' School of Medicine, said: "Hepatitis C has always been an extremely difficult condition to treat effectively because the virus evolves so quickly and develops resistance to drugs that are used to treat it. This new class of small molecule drugs, the p7 inhibitors, attack the virus directly. As we have discovered here, they each do so in quite a different way which allows us to combine their effects.

"By learning how the hepatitis C virus reacts to these molecules, we can design drugs that are likely to be more effective for longer. We can also see how such drugs could be used together with other 'direct-acting' drugs that target alternative viral targets, rather than individually or with IFN/Rib. In other words, a similar approach to treatment as that used for HIV."


'/>"/>

Contact: Paula Gould
p.a.gould@leeds.ac.uk
44-113-343-8059
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Premature aging caused by some HIV drugs, study shows
2. Elsevier launches International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance
3. Drugs from the sea: New discoveries in marine biomedicine
4. Yale researchers explain why cancer smart drugs may not be so smart
5. System in brain -- target of class of diabetes drugs -- linked to weight gain
6. NIH researchers create comprehensive collection of approved drugs to identify new therapies
7. Experimental Alzheimers disease drugs might help patients with nerve injuries
8. New technique tracks viral infections, aids development of antiviral drugs
9. New device promises safer way to deliver powerful drugs
10. New strategy for stimulating neurogenesis may lead to drugs to improve cognition and mood
11. Entry inhibitors show promise as drugs with new MOA for treatment of HBV and HDV infection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016 Advancements ... experience, health wellness and wellbeing (HWW), and ... in three new passenger vehicles begin to ... gesture recognition, heart beat monitoring, brain wave ... facial monitoring, and pulse detection. These will ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Singulex, Inc., the leader in ... entered into a license and supply agreement with Thermo ... agreement provides Singulex access to Thermo Scientific BRAHMS PCT ... is used to diagnose systemic bacterial infection and ... to aid in assessing the risk of critically ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE ... priced an offering of €500.0 million principal amount of its ... amount of its 2.425% senior unsecured notes due 2026. ... occur on December 13, 2016, subject to the satisfaction of customary ... basis. The Company intends to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/13/2017)... ... January 13, 2017 , ... FireflySci has been ... found among its diverse customer base. The latest entry in this field is ... including BTX and Bio-Rad. FireflySci is introducing three distinct varieties including a 10x1mm, ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... January 12, 2017 , ... ... called the Eureka Index – a process that evaluates the patent estate of a ... Immunolight LLC , a biomedical firm leading the way in technologies that transform ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... After her brain cancer became resistant to ... a few months to live. Now a paper publishing January 17 in the ... increased both the quantity and quality of her life: Adding the anti-malaria drug ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... Pune, India , January 12, 2017 A new report ... and End Users - Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022," projects that the ... million in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 15.07% during the forecast period. ... ... Research Logo ...
Breaking Biology Technology: