UIC-2009-012 – New Indication for Ezetimibe and other NPC1L1-inhibitors as treatment for hepatitis C virus infection

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infectious disease that is caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), affecting the liver. An estimated 150-200 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C. The infection is often asymptomatic, but once established, chronic infection can cause inflammation of the liver (chronic hepatitis) which can progress to scarring of the liver (fibrosis), and advanced scarring (cirrhosis). HCVis the most common cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the USA, Europe, and Japan,accountingfor 47%–49%, 56%, and 75% of cases, respectively. A major obstacle in the treatment of HCV-related disease has been the lack of effective, well tolerated therapeutics. Furthermore, current interferon-based treatment having toxic side-effects and cannot be used for many people including people with HIV, people who have previously had an organ transplant, among others. UIC Solution UIC inventors showed that Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 (NPC1L1) cholesterol uptake receptor is an HCV entry factor amendable to therapeutic intervention. Specifically, NPC1L1 expression is necessary for HCV infection as silencing or antibody-mediated blocking of NPC1L1 impairs cell-cultured-derived HCV (HCVcc) infection initiation. In addition, the clinically-available FDA-approved NPC1L1 antagonist ezetimibepotently blocks HCV uptakein vitrovia a virion cholesterol Hyunjin Kim hkim227@otm.uic.edu 312355-7843

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