Celebrating World Hepatitis Day

In recognition of World Hepatitis Day we have made top articles from Future Medicinal Chemistry on hepatitis B and C research free to access

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Globally 400 million people are living with hepatitis B or C (HBV,HCV), with 1.4 million people dying of viral hepatitis each year. This year the World Hepatitis Day campaign aims to promote awareness and understanding of how we can prevent hepatitis and eventually eliminate this disease.

What treatments are currently available?

HCV is unique in being the only example of a 'druggable' chronic viral infection in humans. However, current therapy based upon recombinant interferon (IFN) and ribavirin (Rib) is poorly effective, expensive and highly toxic.

As for HBV, drugs such as alpha interferon and peginterferon and a variety of antiviral drugs are available which work by slowing the replication of the virus, occasionally resulting in its clearance. Drawbacks of these drugs comprise low cure rate, an expensive price tag, and significant side effects. A number of nucleic-acid based drugs have also been approved by FDA, but these have been associated with drug resistance and high recurrence.

What still needs to be done?

The significant drawbacks of the treatments currently available for hepatitis B and C, in addition to growing fears of emerging clinical resistance, highlight the need for new drugs with potent anti-viral activity, novel modes of action and low toxicity, which can be made cheaply.

In view of World Hepatitis Day, we would like to provide an insight into what is being done to address these issues within the medicinal chemistry community by providing free access to a few past articles that discuss the latest research in the field of hepatitis drug discovery.

In our first paper, Stephen Griffin (University of Leeds, UK), discusses the potential of inhibiting p7, an essential HCV protein responsible for promoting infectious virion production. Although previously developed prototype p7 inhibitors have in the past been dropped, due to poor drug-like qualities, Griffin asks if targeting p7 is still a viable route that should be further explored in the treatment of HCV disease.

“Too little, too late?” Will inhibitors of the hepatitis C virus p7 ion channel ever be used in the clinic?


Our second free to access paper examines the potential of suppressing Hsc70 expression in the host cell, as a new strategy in limiting HCV replication, with some promising results.

Lycorine-derived phenanthridine downregulators of host Hsc70 as potential hepatitis C virus inhibitors


The final paper in this series is a Review by Xinyong Liu et al. (Shandong University, China), which evaluates recent advances in design and development of potent anti-HBV inhibitors from natural sources and synthetic compounds, and the different steps these compounds target in the life cycle of HBV.The authors also give their personal perspective on where this field is heading and what still needs to be done.

Recent advance of the hepatitis B virus inhibitors: a medicinal chemistry overview


These aritcles will be free to access for 14 days only, so make sure you check them out now!

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Hannah Coaker

Contributor, Future Science Group

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