The advancement in hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapeutics has been profoundly enhanced by an improved understanding of viral life cycle in host cells, development of novel direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), and exploring other emerging treatment paradigms on the horizon. The approvals of first-, second-, and next-wave direct-acting antivirals highlight the swift pace of progress in the successful development of an expanding variety of therapeutic regimens for use in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Triple or quadruple therapies based on a combination of different direct-acting antivirals with or without pegylated interferon (IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) have raised the hopes to improve the current treatment strategies for other difficult-to-treat individuals. The development of more efficacious, well-tolerated, and cost-effective interferons with a low frequency of adverse events and short treatment durations is also in the pipeline. An experimental protective vaccine against hepatitis C virus demonstrated promise in preliminary human safety trials, and a larger phase II clinical trials are under consideration to further determine the efficacy of the vaccine. This pragmatic book chapter discusses the current state of knowledge in hepatitis C virus therapeutics and provides a conceptual framework of emerging and investigational treatment strategies directed against this silent epidemic.
Part of the book: Advances in Treatment of Hepatitis C and B