There are, for example, major differences between the six genotypes of HCV in response rate to therapy and evidence for some genotype-associated variability in the rate of disease progression and associated
PLX3397 manufacturer liver pathology.2, 3 HCV replication is additionally associated with high mutation rates; this confers on HCV, in common with human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1), considerable adaptive capacity to escape from immunological or drug-treatment pressure. The effectiveness of newly developed protease and polymerase inhibitors for HCV, at least as monotherapy, is indeed likely to be substantially impaired through the acquisition or selection for preexisting amino acid mutations that confer antiviral resistance. Genetic heterogeneity between HCV genotypes translates into significant molecular and clinical differences. For example, individuals infected with genotype 1 or 4 show lower response rates to the current standard of care of IFN/RBV combination treatment than those infected with genotype 2 or 3.4-6 Furthermore, substantial differences were also reported in the susceptibility of the individual genotypes towards the different antivirals currently in clinical trials.7 The first widely used protease inhibitor (PI), BILN 2061, was developed based
on the structure of the NS3 protease of genotype 1. In early clinical trials
it was found to Silmitasertib mouse be substantially less effective in individuals infected with genotype 2 or 3.8-11 Similarly, VX-950 (telaprevir), another PI, showed Ibrutinib potent activity against HCV genotypes 1 and 2,12 but almost no efficacy against genotypes 3 and 4.13, 14 Genotype 1-infected individuals have been almost exclusively targeted for antiviral therapy in current, ongoing clinical trials, partly because of the lack of information about the true effectiveness of PIs against nontype 1 genotypes and because the response rate of type 1 to conventional IFN/RBV therapy is problematically low (40%-50% clearance) compared to genotypes 2 and 3 (˜80%).4 Genotype 1 is highly prevalent in the USA, Europe, and the Far East15 and therefore represents a treatment priority. This generic focus, although understandable, does, however, ignore growing problems with clinical management and therapy of other genotypes, particularly genotypes 4 and 6, which frequently respond poorly to IFN/RBV and which are extensively distributed and rapidly spreading throughout Southern Europe, the Middle East, and South East Asia.2 Assessment of the efficacy of PIs against different genotypes has been greatly hampered by the lack of a convenient animal model or a method for in vitro culture of HCV other than the type 1/2-based replicons and the infectious genotype 2a clone, JFH1.