Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Allergy drug inhibits hepatitis C in mice


Chlorcyclizine (Di-ParaleneMantadilPruresidineTrihistan) is a first-generation antihistamine of the phenylpiperazine class marketed in the United States and certain other countries. It is used primarily to treat allergy symptoms such as rhinitis,urticaria, and pruritus, and may also be used as an antiemetic. In addition to its antihistamine effects, chlorcyclizine also has some anticholinergicantiserotonergic, and local anesthetic properties. It also has been studied as a potential treatment forhepatitis C.

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes liver inflammation and often leads to serious complications such as cirrhosis. Early diagnosis and treatment of HCV can prevent liver damage. Drugs are available to treat HCV, but costs can reach tens of thousands of dollars.
"Although hepatitis C is curable, there is an unmet need for effective and affordable medication," said lead author T. Jake Liang, M.D., senior investigator at NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). "CCZ is a promising candidate for part of a treatment regimen for this potentially life-threatening disease."
Conducted at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, the study found that CCZ blocked the early stage of HCV infection likely by impairing the ability of the virus to enter human liver cells grafted in the mice. The outcome was similar to that of commonly used antiviral drugs but without those drugs' toxic side effects.
"Using an innovative high-throughput screening process, we identified CCZ as a potent inhibitor of hepatitis C," said Anton Simeonov, Ph.D., acting scientific director of NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), which collaborated in the study. "Identifying already approved drugs from the NCATS Pharmaceutical Collection may offer a faster route to potential discovery of treatments for all diseases."
The researchers will next study how the drug affects people. CCZ is currently used for the treatment of allergies, not for HCV. "People should not take CCZ to treat their hepatitis C until it has been demonstrated that CCZ can be used safely and effectively for that purpose," cautions Liang.

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