Affiliation: Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery (Ed. 18) – University of Naples "Federico II", via S. Pansini 5, I-80131 Naples, Italy.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) chronically infects about 2% of the world’s population. Approximately a quarter of these patients will develop, during their life, liver cirrhosis, which entails a high risk of complications and death. Successful antiviral therapy can reduce the risk of disease progression, but it is feasible only in a minority of patients because it includes interferon which is contraindicated in the most advanced stages of the disease and in patients with severe impairment of other organs. Consequent to the launch of the first direct antiviral agents (DAA), namely the protease inhibitors telaprevir and boceprevir, several molecules are in an advanced phase of clinical development to be used in association with interferon or with other DAA (in interferon-free combinations). This review focuses on the mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, safety and resistance of dasabuvir, a non-nucleoside inhibitor of NS5B viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Thanks to its pharmacokinetics, dasabuvir can be administered twice daily. In combinations with other oral DAAs, dasabuvir results in very high rates of SVR (about 95%) in patients with HCV genotype 1 infection with a good tolerability and safety. In conclusion, dasabuvir is a good agent to be used in interferon-free combinations for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.