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

acks. 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."


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

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