A graduate of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Robert Hindes, MD, has dedicated over two decades to the study of infectious diseases. He currently oversees the clinical development of innovative hepatitis C medications as chief medical officer at Trek Therapeutics, having previously served as vice president of clinical development at Pharmasset. In that role, Robert Hindes, MD, played a leading role in the development of a nucleotide analog for hepatitis C virus (HCV), which resulted in breakthrough drug regimens for the treatment of the highly prevalent infectious disease.
Nucleotides are one of the key building blocks of the human body. Each comprising a five-carbon sugar, a nitrogenous base, and one or more phosphate groups, the molecules combine in linear polymers to form nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA. Nucleotides indirectly play a role in the fight against infectious diseases.
Certain antiviral drugs, known as nucleotide analogs, are designed to appear to viruses as nucleotides. Because nucleotide analogs have the potential to stop viruses from replicating, they have contributed to effective therapies for viral diseases including HIV and herpes. In the case of HCV, nucleotide analogs can facilitate chain termination regardless of the HCV genotype, encouraging viral suppression while limiting viral resistance. While this strategy amounts to suppressive therapy in the case of HIV, herpes, and hepatitis B, the combination of viral suppression and a high barrier to resistance, along with unique properties of the hepatitis C virus, allow patients with HCV infection to be cured.