A drug developed in 2008 by researchers from Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Pharmacy has been taken into the second stage of clinical trials by Bristol-Myers Squibb in the USA. The current injections for hepatitis C often lead to severe side effects meaning that most patients do not complete the course of treatment.
The new drug, known as INX-189, has been found to have a high barrier to resistance and has, as yet, exhibited no side effects. Initial trials found that one dose of INX-189 a day resulted in 90% of the hepatitis C virus being killed off.
It is hoped that the new treatment will be approved and go on to cure the 170 million people worldwide who are currently suffering from hepatitis C, of whom more than 350,000 die every year from related illnesses such as liver cancer.