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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009 Mar;53(3):967-76. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00939-08. Epub 2008 Dec 22.

Debio 025, a cyclophilin binding molecule, is highly efficient in clearing hepatitis C virus (HCV) replicon-containing cells when used alone or in combination with specifically targeted antiviral therapy for HCV (STAT-C) inhibitors.

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Rega Institute for Medical Research, KULeuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Debio 025 is a potent inhibitor of hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication (J. Paeshuyse et al., Hepatology 43:761-770, 2006). In phase I clinical studies, monotherapy (a Debio 025 dose of 1,200 mg twice a day) resulted in a mean maximal decrease in the viral load of 3.6 log(10) units (R. Flisiak et al., Hepatology 47:817-826, 2008), whereas a reduction of 4.6 log(10) units was obtained in phase II studies when Debio 025 was combined with interferon (R. Flisiak et al., J. Hepatol., 48:S62, 2008). We here report on the particular characteristics of the in vitro anti-HCV activities of Debio 025. The combination of Debio 025 with either ribavirin or specifically targeted antiviral therapy for HCV (STAT-C) inhibitors (NS3 protease or NS5B [nucleoside and nonnucleoside] polymerase inhibitors) resulted in additive antiviral activity in short-term antiviral assays. Debio 025 has the unique ability to clear hepatoma cells from their HCV replicon when it is used alone or in combination with interferon and STAT-C inhibitors. Debio 025, when it was used at concentrations that have been observed in human plasma (0.1 or 0.5 muM), was able to delay or prevent the development of resistance to HCV protease inhibitors as well as to nucleoside and nonnucleoside polymerase inhibitors. Debio 025 forms an attractive drug candidate for the treatment of HCV infections in combination with standard interferon-based treatment and treatments that directly target the HCV polymerase and/or protease.

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