New Hepatitis C Virus Drug Discovery Strategies and Model Systems
journal contributionposted on 2013-12-03, 00:00 authored by Snawar Hussain, Naina Barretto, Susan L. Uprichard
Introduction: Hepatitis C virus is a major cause of liver disease worldwide and the leading indication for liver transplantation in the United States. Current treatment options are expensive, not effective in all patient groups and typically are associated with serious side effects. While pre-clinical anti-HCV drug screening is still hampered by the lack of readily infectable small animal models, the development of in vitro cell culture HCV experimental model systems has driven a promising new wave of HCV antiviral drug discovery. Areas covered: This review contains a concise overview of current HCV treatment options and limitations with a subsequent more in depth focus on the available experimental models and novel strategies that have and continue to enable important advances in the anti-HCV drug development field. Expert opinion: With a large cohort of chronically HCV infected patients progressively developing liver disease that puts them at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic decompensation, there is an urgent need to develop effective therapeutics that are affordable, well-tolerated and effective in all patients and against all genotypes. Significant advances in HCV experimental model development have expedited HCV drug discovery; however, additional progress is needed. Importantly, the current trends and momentum in the field suggests that we will continue to overcome critical experimental challenges to reach this end goal.