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Drug delivery systems and liver targeting for the improved pharmacotherapy of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Authors
  • Cuestas, María L
  • Mathet, Verónica L
  • Oubiña, José R
  • Sosnik, Alejandro
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pharmaceutical Research
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2010
Volume
27
Issue
7
Pages
1184–1202
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11095-010-0112-z
PMID: 20333454
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In spite of the progress made in vaccine and antiviral therapy development, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is still the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, with more than 400 million people chronically infected worldwide. Antiviral therapy with nucleos(t)ide analogues and/or immunomodulating peptides is the only option to control and prevent the progression of the disease in chronic hepatitis B (CHB)-infected patients. So far, the current antiviral monotherapy remains unsatisfactory because of the low efficacy and the development of drug resistance mutants. Moreover, viral rebound is frequently observed following therapy cessation, since covalent closed circular DNA (cccDNA) is not removed from hepatocytes by antiviral therapy. First, this review describes the current pharmacotherapy for the management of CHB and the new drug candidates being investigated. Then, the challenges in the development of drug delivery systems for the targeting of antiviral drugs to the liver parenchyma are discussed. Finally, perspectives in the design of a more efficient pharmacotherapy to eradicate the virus from the host are addressed.

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