Modeling in hepatitis – still a long way to go

Over the last few decades computational modeling has gained a wide popularity and a prominent confidence in drug discovery [1–6]. The technology can not only expedite and reduce the cost of discovering new drugs, but it could also establish a new era of personalized medicine. The promise is so high; from modeling electronic transfer reactions in various enzymes [7], to building virtual organs [8] and eventually virtual organisms, including humans.

Take the liver, for example – this indispensable organ filters the blood, detoxifies chemicals, metabolizes drugs and generates proteins for blood clotting. Computational modeling can play a key role in understanding how the liver works, how viruses infect it and how it can be cured from chronic infections and cancer.

Given the excessive cost of current hepatitis drugs, computational modeling can also help in discovering new drugs, understanding their precise mode of action, predicting their synergy and identifying cost-effective treatments. This article will focus on these issues with a future insight on what still need to be done from a computational perspective.

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