Hibiscus and Extracts Thereof as Anti-HCV Inhibitors

Invention Summary:

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is an RNA virus causing persistent liver infections that can progress to chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and in some cases cancer of the liver. With an estimated 170-200 million people infected with HCV worldwide, HCV infection has become a major public health concern both in developed and developing countries. Current therapies against HCV with their adverse side effects, are not only expensive and limited in efficacy against the various HCV genotypes, but also give rise to mutant viruses. Therefore, there is an urgent need for developing improved antiviral agents against HCV that are more effective in targeting the virus without negatively impacting patient health.

The HCV NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) is the key enzyme involved in the replication of the viral genome and has no functional equivalent in mammalian cells. For this reason, NS5B represents an attractive target for drug development.

Faculty at Rutgers have developed a drug screening method to identify novel HCV NS5B inhibitors derived from plant products that can supplement existing anti-HCV treatments. In addition, this invention also provides a potential anti-HCV therapy using seventeen plant-derived extracts and six fractionated bioactives from them.

Market Applications:

  • A formula combining certain plant extracts or combination of them for improving outcome of HCV patients synergistically with current treatments.
  • A method to identify compositions from natural plants which serve as an inhibitor of HCV NS5B.
  • A screening kit for identifying plant extracts or/and fractionated bioactives with the property of inhibiting HCV replication.

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending

Rutgers ID: 2012-099
Food, Nutrition and Nutraceuticals
Deborah Perez
Senior Licensing Manager
James Simon
Qingli Wu
Neerja Kaushik-Basu