Treatment regimens based on the use of interferon-α (IFN-α) remain the cornerstone of therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection, which affects nearly 170 million people worldwide. Treatment options include unmodified IFN-α given three times weekly or pegylated IFNs given once weekly. The albumin-fusion platform takes advantage of the long half-life of human albumin to provide a new treatment approach that allows the dosing frequency of IFN-α to be reduced in individuals with chronic hepatitis C. Albinterferon α-2b (alb-IFN), a recombinant polypeptide composed of IFN-α2b genetically fused to human albumin, has an extended half-life and early evidence indicates that it is efficacious and well tolerated. Pharmacodynamic modeling supports treatment with alb-IFN at 2- or 4-week intervals. Phase 3 registration trials are in progress. The albumin-fusion platform is currently being applied to other important bioactive peptides with short half-lives. These fusion proteins, which are at present in different phases of clinical development, might lead to improved therapies across a broad range of diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering