Antiviral compounds to inhibit the replicase of hepatitis C virus

  • Netter, Hans (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Gowans, Eric (Partner Investigator (PI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

The project will develop an HCV replicase assay using HCV-infected cells or replicon cells, modelled on a similar assay for bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV). The aims are to 1) Establish in vitro HCV RNA replicase assay;
2) Convert this into a high throughput assay; 3) Examine a chemical library (ies) for compounds which inhibit HCV RNA replicase function; 4) Confirm the antiviral activity of any inhibitor in an authentic HCV cell culture system; 5) Determine the mode of action of any compounds which inhibit HCV synthesis in cell culture.
Hepatitis C virus infection is a major public health problem; there are around 200 million infected individuals in the world and 200,000 in Australia. Treatment is limited to a combination of interferon-alpha and ribavirin, but this is not only ono-specific, but is expensive, results in numerous side effects and only cures approximately 50% of highly selected patients. There is an urgent need for HCV-specific antivirals. This project, which will develop an authentic HCV replicase assay, is expected to identify a lead compound(s) which can inhabit the HCV replicase in the in vitro assay, and also inhibit HCV synthesis in an authentic cell culture system. This compound can then be developed for use in the clinic.
Effective start/end date31/03/0930/06/12


  • Australian Research Council (ARC): AUD76,881.00
  • Avexa Limited: AUD18,750.00