Trials begin on potent new hepatitis C drug

May 14, 2010

The first clinical trials have started on a new investigational drug, discovered by researchers at Cardiff University, which is being developed to treat infections caused by Hepatitis C virus.

Approximately 170 million people worldwide are affected with , which can lead to , and death. It is the leading cause of in western countries. The current treatment involves two drugs - ribavirin and interferon, which has to be given as an injection. Side effects are often severe and lead to patients failing to complete the treatment.

The new drug, INX-189, is taken orally and was first prepared at the Welsh School of Pharmacy in November 2008. Laboratory tests showed it killed 90 per cent of the virus at very low (nanomolar) concentration, making it one of the most potent compounds of its kind developed to date.

US pharmaceutical company Inhibitex, which owns the licence to INX-189 and has been working with the Cardiff team, has now started trials in healthy volunteers to assess the compound's safety. A second trial, which would evaluate the compound's effectiveness on Hepatitis patients, may follow later this year.

Professor Chris McGuigan of the Welsh School of Pharmacy, academic lead on the project, said: "This is still a very early stage of the trials process. However, progress has been encouraging so far, going from the laboratory to human trials within 18 months. We believe that INX-189 offers the possibility of more potency against Hepatitis, more rapid action in the liver, and fewer side effects than existing treatments."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Glucocorticoids offer long-term benefits for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

November 22, 2017
Glucocorticoids, a class of steroid hormone medications often prescribed to patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), offer long-term benefits for this disease, including longer preservation of muscle strength and ...

Baby-boomers and millennials more afflicted by the opioid epidemic

November 21, 2017
Baby-boomers, those born between 1947 and 1964, experienced an excess risk of prescription opioid overdose death and heroin overdose death, according to latest research at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. ...

Sensor-equipped pill raises technological, ethical questions

November 17, 2017
The first drug with a sensor embedded in a pill that alerts doctors when patients have taken their medications was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, raiding issues involving privacy, cost, and whether patients ...

New painkillers reduce overdose risk

November 16, 2017
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing—the cause of opiate overdose.

Separating side effects could hold key for safer opioids

November 16, 2017
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops. Scientists have discovered a way to separate these ...

US regulators approve first digital pill to track patients

November 14, 2017
U.S. regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken, offering a new way of monitoring patients but also raising privacy concerns.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.