Purpose of review: We review here the recent literature regarding hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy through January 2013. We discuss current therapies, targets for new therapies, and what might be expected in this rapidly changing field.
Recent findings: Boceprevir-based and telaprevir-based triple therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin marked the beginning of a new era in HCV therapy for genotype 1 patients. New direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are being developed and new antiviral drug targets are being explored. New combination treatment regimens are expected to emerge soon and there is hope for interferon-free regimens.
Summary: The standard of care for treatment of HCV genotype 1 changed dramatically with the approval of two new DAA drugs – telaprevir and boceprevir – for use in pegylated interferon-based and ribavirin-based triple therapy in mid-2011. Experience has shown improved response rates and treatment durations for many patients with genotype 1 HCV infection. However, persistent limitations to HCV treatment still exist for patients with prior treatment failure and comorbid conditions and patients on newer therapies suffer additional therapy-limiting side effects and drug–drug interactions. Genetic testing may provide some guidance but additional options for therapy are still needed for HCV. Many new drugs are currently under investigation and there is hope that effective and well tolerated interferon-free regimens may become a part of future therapy.