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Keywords:

  • antiviral drug development;
  • innate immunity;
  • interferon enhancer;
  • toll-like receptors

Abstract

Interferon-α (IFN-α) has been the mainstay of therapy for hepatitis C and is currently being combined with other drugs to improve the response rate. Newer therapeutic regimens are being developed to spare the use of IFN because of the important side effects associated with IFN-based therapy. However, there may still be a need for the use of IFN in certain populations. In addition, agents that mimic the actions of IFN but with fewer side effects may still be of major value. This review focuses on the development of alternative and new forms of IFNs and other immunomodulatory agents that may supplant IFN-α in combination therapy for hepatitis C.