Chronic hepatitis B is a viral infection that can currently only be treated with interferon-α and nucleosidic inhibitors of viral polymerase — 3TC and adefovir — but these treatments are limited by serious side effects and a high failure rate. Novel therapeutic regimes are urgently required. In the February 7 Science, Karl Deres and colleagues at the Bayer Research Center, Wuppertal, Germany, describe a substance class for the treatment of HBV infection that displays a highly specific antiviral inhibition of capsid formation, concomitant with a reduced half-life of the core protein (Science 299:893-896, February 7, 2003).

Deres et al. analyzed the in vitro profile and mechanism of action for the heteroaryldihydropyrimidine Bay 41-4109 and the congeners Bay 38-7690 and Bay 39-5493.They observed that Bay 41-4109 blocked by 50% the HBV replication when incubated with HBV-producing HepG2.2.15 cells. In addition, they showed that Bay 41-4109 and Bay 38-7690 reduced...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?