Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been revolutionized during last years with the development of highly potent direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) specifically targeting HCV proteins. DAAs are the current standard of care for patients with chronic hepatitis C, leading to high cure rates. However, some hurdles exist including the high cost of these therapies restricting access to patients, their inability to protect against the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with advanced fibrosis, and emergence of resistant variants resulting in treatment failure. New therapeutic options should be essential to overcome DAAs limitations and improve survival. By targeting host-cell factors involved in HCV life cycle, host-targeting antivirals (HTAs) offer opportunity for promising anti-HCV therapy with low mutational rate and may act in a synergistic manner with DAAs to prevent viral resistance and reduce viral replication. Moreover, HTAs could be effective in difficult-to-cure patients by acting through complementary mechanisms. In this chapter, we will focus on the latest and most relevant studies regarding the host-cell factors required in HCV infection and explored as targets of antiviral therapy, we will also discuss the HTAs evaluated in preclinical and clinical development and their potential role as alternative or complementary therapeutic strategies.
Part of the book: Advances in Hepatology