The era of direct-acting antivirals has begun: the beginning of the end for HCV?

Semin Liver Dis. 2011 Nov;31(4):399-409. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1297928. Epub 2011 Dec 21.


The year 2011 marks the dawn of the new era of direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C. For the first time since 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved two new antiviral drugs for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus genotype 1. Dual therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is no longer the standard of care for genotype 1. The new treatment paradigm includes one direct-acting antiviral, a protease inhibitor, in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. This combination nearly doubles the chances of response to treatment, but at the cost of increased toxicity. Many agents with different mechanisms of action and improved safety profiles are in clinical development. The holy grail of HCV treatment is an all oral, interferon-free treatment. The ideal regimen will be potent, well tolerated, with minimal drug-drug interactions and once daily. This article covers new concepts of treatment of hepatitis C with DAAs and gives an overview of the recent highlights in direct-acting antiviral development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / methods
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects*
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Protease Inhibitors