In the next five years, new locally manufactured drugs for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B may become available in the Russian pharmaceutical market. They can completely cure infected patients.
The drugs are being developed in the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor with the support of the Russian Science Foundation. New medicines designed by Russian scientists will help to destroy the virus inside human liver cells.
“The drugs utilize two main mechanisms of action – first one is the direct destruction of viral DNA and the second one activates natural antiviral mechanisms of the body,” said Vladimir Chulanov, Head of the Scientific Advisory Clinical and Diagnostic Center at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology. “The processes underlying the development of viral infection are primarily related to the functioning of viral genome. Destroy the virus genome, and you will cure the patient. Until recently, targeted destruction of the virus genome was technically impossible. The action of our drugs is based on CRISPR/Cas9 systems, which have been much talked about recently. Our new medicines already demonstrated high efficacy and safety in cell cultures”.
Scientists have created two highly effective drugs, that are absolutely different in terms of their action, and began to test them. In 2019, they will test these medicines in monkeys and, from 2020, they expect to start clinical trials, which is a necessary step to confirm the efficacy and safety of new drugs.