Hydroxyurea suppresses HCV replication in humans: A Phase I trial of oral hydroxyurea in chronic hepatitis C patients

Akito Nozaki, Kazushi Numata, Manabu Morimoto, Masaaki Kondo, Kazuya Sugimori, Satoshi Morita, Eiji Miyajima, Masanori Ikeda, Nobuyuki Kato, Shin Maeda, Katsuaki Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: HCV is the main causative agent of chronic liver disease, which could progress to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. By using a recently developed genome-length HCV RNA replication reporter assay system, we found that hydroxyurea (HU), an inhibitor of DNA synthesis, inhibited HCV RNA replication. Methods: To test the hypothesis that HU suppresses HCV replication in humans, we conducted a Phase I trial involving Japanese patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and investigated the safety and effectiveness of a 4-week course of oral HU. Results: A total of nine patients were treated with an HU dose level of 500 mg three times daily. Dose-limiting toxicity was not observed at this dose level. Of the nine patients, eight exhibited a moderate decrease in serum HCV RNA levels during the trial. A decrease in HCV RNA levels to nadir levels was achieved for the eight patients (median -0.27 log10 IU/ml [range -0.08- -0.44]) at various times during the 4 weeks after therapy initiation. Conclusions: The results of this Phase I trial suggest that HU has potential as an anti-HCV agent that could be effective for the treatment of CHC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1179-1183
Number of pages5
JournalAntiviral Therapy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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