9 September 2020

With the advent of Direct Acting Antivirals, treatment of hepatitis C during pregnancy may come into reach. In a recent publication in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology researchers from the Departments of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmacy, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, investigated the placental passage of two such drugs for the first time.

Jolien Freriksen and colleagues from RIMLS and RIHS studied the placental passage of daclatasvir and the main circulating metabolite of the drug sofosbuvir (GS-331007). In the laboratory-based study, fetal and maternal circulations of term human placentas were re-established immediately after birth. In this controlled setting, it was then studied how the placenta handled the drugs, ex vivo.

A main finding of the study was that GS-331007 and daclatasvir both cross the human placental barrier. This indicates that maternal use of sofosbuvir/daclatasvir may be beneficial in terms of fetal pre-exposure prophylaxis, but on the other hand could have adverse fetal effects. For a better and safer treatment of women living with HCV, future studies should now further chart the potential of Direct Acting Antivirals to improve maternal health and reduce the prevalence of pediatric hepatitis C.

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