Source J. W. Goethe University Hospital, Department of Medicine , 1, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590 Frankfurt/Main , Germany +49 69 6301 4544 ; +49 69 6301 6448 ; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction: More than 180 million people worldwide are infected with the chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), a major cause of liver cirrhosis, and its life-threatening complications including liver failure, portal hypertension and hepatocellular carcinoma. For patients infected with HCV genotype 1, the chances of a sustained virologic response (SVR) with the previous standard of care treatment (Peg-IFN-α + ribavirin) are only 40 - 50%. Neither drug targets a specific HCV protein, and treatment is not only compromised by insufficient SVR rates but also associated with several side effects. With a better understanding of the HCV life-cycle, and of the structural features of HCV proteins, several promising direct antiviral drugs (DAAs) have entered clinical development.
Areas covered: This review summarizes the clinical development of telaprevir and discusses the possible role of telaprevir in combination with Peg-IFN-α and ribavirin as a new standard treatment against HCV infection, as well as any possible challenges in the future.
Expert opinion: Triple therapy, with telaprevir in combination with Peg-IFN-α + ribavirin, is the new standard for chronic hepatitis C treatment in genotype 1-infected patients. At present, there are several next-generation DAAs in clinical development in combination with Peg-IFN-α. The future, however, may also include new treatment strategies, such as oral DAA combinations.