Journal Article

Implications of finding synergic <i>in vitro</i> drug–drug interactions between interferon-α and ribavirin for the treatment of hepatitis C virus

Victor E. Buckwold

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 53, issue 3, pages 413-414
Published in print March 2004 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online March 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkh126
Implications of finding synergic in vitro drug–drug interactions between interferon-α and ribavirin for the treatment of hepatitis C virus

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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are currently treated using a combination of interferon-α (IFN-α) and ribavirin (RBV). If IFN-α is utilized alone, the sustained virological response (SVR) rate is ∼20%, whereas when RBV is used alone it does not lead to an SVR. However, when IFN-α and RBV are used together, the combination leads to an SVR rate of ∼40%. This clinical synergy is thought to be due to the direct antiviral effects of RBV, or to indirect effects of RBV that stimulate the immune response. Evidence for either hypothesis is limited. Recently, we undertook an in vitro drug–drug combination analysis using surrogate model systems of HCV replication and found a reproducible synergy of antiviral effects between the two drugs at physiologically relevant drug concentrations. Our findings provide experimental support for the contention that the direct effects of these drugs’ antiviral activity are responsible for the clinical synergy observed in patients.

Keywords: Keywords: interferon-α, combination analysis, HCV, ribavirin

Journal Article.  1675 words. 

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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