A chemically hydrophilized version of silibinin blocked hepatitis C viral production and release, according to recent in vivo modeling of viral kinetics.
Researchers monitored changes in hepatitis C virus RNA in 25 patients receiving 10 mg/kg daily, 15 mg/kg daily or 20 mg/kg daily silibinin (Legalon Sil, Madaus).
The virus showed biphasic decline in 15 patients, with a marked drop between days 0 and 2, followed by a second phase of slower decline. The initial decline was weaker in 10 patients, with the virus declining in a single weeklong phase. The effectiveness of blocking production was 0.49 in the 10 mg/kg daily and 15 mg/kg daily dosing groups and 0.89 in the 20 mg/kg daily group (P=.02).
The mean rate of viral load decline for all patients — as measured between days 2 and 7 — was four times higher than typically measured during the second phase of pegylated interferon alpha ± ribavirin treatment.
“These results suggest that SIL could be a valuable candidate for combination with direct antiviral agents against HCV,” the researchers wrote.
Disclosure: Ralf-Torsten Pohl is a Madaus employee (the firm producing Legalon SIL) and provided the data in this study.