Modulators of HBV capsid assembly as an approach to treating hepatitis B virus infection

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Abstract

The search for a cure for hepatitis B virus infection extends beyond interferon and the existing polymerase inhibitors, and targets different aspects of the virus life cycle to develop agents that operate by alternative mechanisms. Examples of small molecules that disrupt the encapsidation of pgRNA have been known for some time, but recent advances in the understanding of nucleocapsid formation, how compounds interact with core protein, and the development of drug-like molecules have recently progressed the study of capsid assembly modulators to proof of concept in the clinic with respect to reduction of viral load in chronic HBV patients. Interference with HBV capsid assembly is thus a legitimate approach to treating HBV infection.

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