News from Hepatitis Week of July 13, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 18

Study: Aromatic Cationic Molecular Compounds May Help Treat Hepatitis C

Aromatic cationic molecular compounds may be helpful in treating hepatitis C, according to a study reported in the July issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Researchers found that these molecules successfully treated a diarrhea commonly found in cows that is similar to both the human hepatitis C and West Nile viruses.

Study authors Daniel Givens of Auburn University and David Boykin of Georgia State University identified five such compounds that proved to be effective and safe in inhibiting the activity of the cow virus at low concentrations.

The researchers said their findings suggest that these compounds would be excellent candidates for advanced testing against the hepatitis C virus.

Although they do not know exactly how the compounds work to combat these viruses, the researchers said they suspect that the compounds' ability to interact with nucleic acids and inhibit proteases plays a role.

"The results observed by our scientists demonstrate the promise of cationic molecules as anti-viral agents and possibly against hepatitis C," said Stephen Thompson, Immtech president & CEO. "We believe that there is an advantage in having a reliable assay system that evaluates the complete viral life cycle for screening compounds for anti-hepatitis C activity."

Thompson said his company is using the information generated from these studies to further evaluate specific cationic compounds for anti-hepatitis C activity.

Other sources: Immtech International, Inc.