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Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2013;53:427-49. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-011112-140254. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

Direct-acting antiviral agents for hepatitis C virus infection.

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Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.


Two selective inhibitors of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease nearly double the cure rates for this infection when combined with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. These drugs, boceprevir and telaprevir, received regulatory approval in 2011 and are the first direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) that selectively target HCV. During 2012, at least 30 additional DAAs were in various stages of clinical development. HCV protease inhibitors, polymerase inhibitors, and NS5A inhibitors (among others) can achieve high cure rates when combined with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin and demonstrate promise when used in combination with one another. Current research is attempting to improve the pharmacokinetics and tolerability of these agents, define the best regimens, and determine treatment strategies that produce the best outcomes. Several DAAs will reach the market simultaneously, and resources will be needed to guide the use of these drugs. We review the clinical pharmacology, trial results, and remaining challenges of DAAs for the treatment of HCV.

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