Liver live one

X-ray crystallography reveals the structure of an antiviral compound active against hepatitis C virus as it is bound to the viral genetic material. Hepatitis C causes chronic liver disease and increases the risk of hepatic cancer in some 170 million people worldwide. “This structure will guide approaches to rationally design better drug candidates and improve the known benzimidazole inhibitors,” explains team leader Thomas Hermann of the University of California, San Diego. The group is also working to show that RNA targets are not so very different from the more common protein targets of pharmaceutical drug discovery.