Although vaccines exist for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, the development of a Hepatitis C vaccine has presented challenges. No vaccine is currently available, and although several vaccines are currently under development, the Hepatitis C virus is highly variable among strains and fast mutating, making development of an effective vaccine very difficult.
Sofosbuvir (brand name Sovaldi) is an antiviral drug, developed by Gilead Sciences and used to treat Hepatitis C infection. In combination with other therapies, Sofosbuvir can effectively cure Hepatitis in 90 per cent of patients. It inhibits the RNA polymerase, that the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) uses, to replicate its RNA. It was discovered at Pharmasset and developed by Gilead Sciences. Sofosbuvir is a component of the first all-oral, interferon-free regimen, approved for treating chronic Hepatitis C. Interferon-free therapy for treatment of Hepatitis C reduces the side effects associated with the use of interferon. Sofosbuvir treatment regimens last 12 weeks for genotypes 1, 2 and 4, and 24 weeks for the treatment of genotype 3. This is surprisingly half of the time that was required in previous treatments. The price of Sofosbuvir has created considerable controversy, particularly with respect to accessibility in developing countries.
As Sofosbuvir is always combined with other drugs such as Ribavirin and Interferon, only the adverse effects of these combinations have been evaluated. Common side effects are fatigue, headache, nausea, rash, and irritability. Most side effects are significantly more common in interferon containing regimens, compared to Interferon-free ones.
It is clear that although Sofosbuvir provides significant advantages over previous Hepatitis C medications, it can hardly be called an ideal drug. Taking in consideration the extremely high treatment costs, the 12 to 24-weeks treatment period and the significant side effects, they may argue that there is ample space for improvement. Nevertheless, Sofosbuvir sales reached an astonishing $10 billion in 2014! Can our DDX3 Helicase Inhibitors outperform Sofosbuvir? Why not? Our current available HCV Inhibition assays showed exceptionally good efficacy and very low cytotoxicity. Our compounds might very well provide a much more patient friendly and cost effective alternative for a Hepatitis C viral infection therapy.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is successfully inhibited by our Translation Inhibitor compounds, with excellent sub-micro molar concentrations. combined with very high CC50 values. As such, our DDX3 Helicase Inhibiting compounds are considered as highly promising drug candidates against HCV.