Hepatitis C News Ticker; Galectin Announces New Data-Treatment of Fatty Liver Disease and Fibrosis--

Johann Georg Meyer von-The Reading Girl
Artist's nationality: German, 1813-1886


New On The Blog

Anadys Positive 12-Wk Data for Setrobuvir in Phase 2b Hepatitis C Study

Achillions Announces Second Generation NS5A Inhibitor -ACH-3102


Oct. 13, 2011, 7:00 a.m. EDT

Galectin Therapeutics to Announce New Data on the Treatment of Fatty Liver Disease and Fibrosis--

Abstract Accepted for Presentation at the European Association for Study of the Liver Special Conference on Liver Transplantation --

NEWTON, Mass., Oct 13, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Galectin Therapeutics Inc. the leader in developing carbohydrate-based therapeutic compounds to inhibit galectin proteins today announced that its abstract was accepted by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) for presentation at its Special Conference on Liver Transplantation to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, December 15-17, 2011. The abstract, "Improvement of Steatosis, Inflammation, and Fibrosis in a Mouse Model of Steatohepatitis Following Treatment with Galectin Inhibitor," will highlight pre-clinical data on Galectin Therapeutics' drug candidates for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

"Galectin Therapeutics is developing carbohydrate-based galectin inhibitors for fibrotic liver disease and cancer based on our unique understanding of galectin proteins, which are key mediators of biologic function," said Dr. Peter G. Traber, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer, Galectin Therapeutics. "Currently, there are no therapeutic treatments available of liver fibrosis, with liver transplantation as the only option. Galectin Therapeutics has previously demonstrated the ability to arrest and reverse liver fibrosis in pre-clinical studies with our GM and GR series of galectin-inhibitor compounds and we are now expanding their therapeutic potential to pre-clinical models of NASH. The data to be presented at EASL demonstrate promising initial pre-clinical effect in this indication."

NASH is a common disease of the liver, affecting 9 to 15 million people in the United States. NASH is characterized by the presence of fat in the liver along with inflammation and damage in people who drink little or no alcohol. Over time, patients with NASH can develop fibrosis, or scarring of the liver, that can lead to cirrhosis, a severe liver disease where transplantation is the only current treatment available. Galectin Therapeutics is developing drug candidates as an alternative to transplantation, and lead candidates have shown in pre-clinical models to reverse fibrosis of the liver.

About Galectin Therapeutics

Galectin Therapeutics /quotes/zigman/5431495 GALT 0.00% is developing promising carbohydrate-based therapies for fibrotic liver disease and cancer based on the Company's unique understanding of galectin proteins, key mediators of biologic function. We are leveraging extensive scientific and development expertise as well as established relationships with external sources to achieve cost effective and efficient development. We are pursuing a clear development pathway to clinical enhancement and commercialization for our lead compounds in liver fibrosis and cancer. Additional information is available at www.galectintherapeutics.com .

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains, in addition to historical information, forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or future financial performance, and use words such as "may," "estimate," "could," "expect" and others. They are based on our current expectations and are subject to factors and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements.

Factors that could cause our actual performance to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, among others: incurrence of operating losses since our inception, uncertainty as to adequate financing of our operations, extensive and costly regulatory oversight that could restrict or prevent product commercialization, inability to achieve commercial product acceptance, inability to protect our intellectual property, dependence on strategic partnerships, product competition, and others stated in risk factors contained in our SEC filings. We cannot assure that we have identified all risks or that others may emerge which we do not anticipate. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Although subsequent events may cause our views to change, we disclaim any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

SOURCE: Galectin Therapeutics Inc.


From Needle Stick to Cure for Hepatitis

As doctors-in-training in the early 1990s, my friends and I became obsessed with the question of what we would do if we were pricked with an infected needle at work. We all had witnessed the inexorable, often painful march toward death of patients with hepatitis C and AIDS. We imagined the despair we would feel in that situation: the dashed hopes, the lost years of schooling and training. Many of us saw ourselves walking out of the hospital and not looking back. We couldn’t imagine throwing ourselves back into the fray.

We had not met Dr. Douglas Dieterich.

In 1977, while working in the hospital as a third-year medical student, Dr. Dieterich was accidentally stuck with a needle contaminated with hepatitis. And for the next 20 years, he struggled with regular and debilitating episodes of exhaustion, jaundice and high fevers. But he did not quit medicine. Instead Dr. Dieterich continued to train and then to practice, eventually becoming a national expert in hepatitis C, the very disease he had acquired.. Continue Reading..


Congressional panel criticizes Miami VA hospital
Lawmakers on Wednesday called for the dismissal of the director of the troubled Miami Veterans Administration hospital, saying she and her staff are not making enough progress in the aftermath of a scandal two years ago that left thousands of patients exposed to HIV and other illnesses.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the House Veterans' Affairs committee harshly criticized the leadership at the Miami VA during a Capitol Hill hearing to review lessons learned from the failures at the hospital. In 2009, nearly 2,5000 veterans were given colonoscopies that were done with improperly cleaned equipment. The revelation led to a congressional investigation and a federal lawsuit...Read More...


Jury: Baxter, Teva liable for $104M in hepatitis case
A Nevada jury found drug companies liable Wednesday for $104 million in damages in a third product liability lawsuit stemming from a hepatitis C outbreak four years ago at Las Vegas outpatient colonoscopy clinics owned by a doctor now facing state and federal criminal charges.

The same Clark County District Court civil jury that on Monday awarded $14 million in compensatory damages to Michael Washington and his wife, Josephine Washington, spent less than two hours deliberating before deciding Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc. should pay the couple $60 million in punitive damages and Baxter Healthcare Corp. should pay $30 million. Read more....


Stem Cells
Repaired Stem Cells Grow New Working Liver Cells
12 October 2011
UK scientists took stem cells made from the skin cells of patients with an inherited liver disease called alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency, used "molecular scissors" to effect a "clean" repair of the gene mutation that causes...

Additional Information Here


Pharmaceuticals
FDA releases final guidance on anti-counterfeiting excipients
The FDA has published final guidance on the use of excipients as anti-counterfeiting tools in solid oral dosage forms.
View FDA Final Guidance Here


Hep C Drug Updates: Vertex and Anadys

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Vertex Pharmaceuticals shares are rebounding Thursday on speculation that prescription growth of its hepatitis C drug Incivek may not be flattening as much as previously feared.

Anadys Pharmaceuticals also released Thursday new mid-stage data on its experimental Hep C drug setrobuvir, which the company hopes will re-ignite partnership talks. More on Anadys in a moment, first let's tackle Vertex and the case of the missing Incivek mail-order scripts…

Moving to Anadys: The new setrobuvir results from a phase IIb study announced Thursday look okay from an efficacy and safety perspective but the data aren't going to prompt investors to scream "wow" like they are when Pharmasset says anything about its experimental Hep C drugs.... Read More Here


Healthy You

Nearly 1 in 4 people with psoriasis may have undiagnosed psoriatic arthritis

PORTLAND, Ore. (Oct. 12, 2011)—If you have psoriasis or a family history of psoriasis and you are experiencing joint pain and swelling, you could have psoriatic arthritis, a serious disease that may lead to joint destruction and disability.

New research from the National Psoriasis Foundation reveals that nearly one in four people with psoriasis—the most common autoimmune disease in the country, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans—may have undiagnosed psoriatic arthritis, a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the joints and tendons. This is in addition to the up to 2 million people already diagnosed with the disease.

The Psoriasis Foundation study found that 22 percent of psoriasis-only participants had significant symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, such as joint pain, pain that moved from one joint to the other; joints that were hot to the touch; and swollen, sausagelike fingers and toes. For the full data snapshot, visit www.psoriasis.org survey.

Other key findings revealed that people with psoriatic arthritis are not being diagnosed in a timely manner. Forty-four percent of these respondents said they experienced symptoms for a year or longer before being diagnosed. Nearly one in three reported a delay of two years or longer to receive diagnosis.

"It's vital to diagnose and treat psoriatic arthritis early in order to prevent or slow joint damage. Yet, nearly 30 percent of psoriatic arthritis patients said it took more than two years for a diagnosis," said Dr. Mark Lebwohl, chair of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board.

In response to these findings, the Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board issued a set of recommendations for both people with psoriasis and medical professionals who treat them to evaluate for symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.

For people with psoriasis and/or a family history of the disease, the medical board recommends watching for the following symptoms, and if they experience one or more, to call their physician:

  • Pain, swelling or stiffness in one or more joints;
  • Joints that are red or warm to the touch;
  • Frequent joint tenderness or stiffness;
  • Sausagelike swelling in one or more of the fingers or toes;
  • Pain in and around the feet and ankles;
  • Changes to the nails, such as pitting or separation from the nail bed;
  • Pain in the lower back, above the tailbone.

"Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis," said Dr. Elaine Husni, a rheumatologist and psoriatic arthritis expert with the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "These guidelines could help millions of Americans with psoriasis recognize the signs of psoriatic arthritis early, so they can seek medical attention for a diagnosis and begin treatment. If untreated, the joint damage can be disabling."

Additionally, the findings show that psoriatic arthritis significantly impacts quality of life: 63 percent say they are unable to be as active as they once were, nearly half (47 percent) say the disease impacts their ability to work, 34 percent report difficulty getting in and out of a car and 34 percent have stiffness for more than two hours after waking.

Learn more about the research results at www.psoriasis.org/survey.

About the study

The National Psoriasis Foundation conducted interviews with 477 people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis by phone (202) and online (275) from April 13 to May 4, 2011. Sixty-two percent of the respondents had moderate to severe psoriasis.

For more information about the survey, contact Bruce Bebo, director of research, at bbebo@psoriasis.org or 800.723.9166, ext. 404.

About psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis, a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the joints and tendons, occurs in up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis—the most common autoimmune disease in the country, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans. People with mild psoriasis are just as likely to develop psoriatic arthritis as those with moderate to severe forms of the disease. Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include generalized fatigue; tenderness, pain and swelling of the tendons; swollen fingers and toes; joints that are hot to the touch; and reduced range of motion.

About the National Psoriasis Foundation

The National Psoriasis Foundation is the world's largest nonprofit organization serving people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our mission is to find a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and to eliminate their devastating effects through research, advocacy and education. For more information, call the Psoriasis Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Ore., at 800.723.9166, or visit www.psoriasis.org.


Does Vitamin E Increase Prostate Cancer?




Vitamin E may have cardiovascular and brain-boosting benefits, but a new study found that men who took 400 international units of the supplement every day have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

“The results show that men who took vitamin E alone are actually at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer by about 17 percent, compared with a placebo,” said Dr. Eric Klein, who treats prostate patients at the Cleveland Clinic and co-chaired the study.

Researchers studied the effects of vitamin E on more than 35,000 men over the course of seven years because they originally thought vitamin E – and selenium – would decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer.

The study’s results were not what the researchers expected.

Researchers said they need to determine exactly why vitamin E can increase the chances of developing prostate cancer. “The increased risk really emerged after men stopped taking the vitamin E,” Klein said. “People think of vitamins as innocuous substances, but in fact, that’s not true. They’re active agents; they’re part of our normal physiology and getting too much of things that are normal for us can sometimes be harmful.” Dr. David Samadi, a Fox News Medical A-Team member and chief of robotics and minimally invasive surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City agreed. "We now have a better understanding of the relationship between vitamin E and prostate cancer.

Their key finding...is the reason I am so cautious of prescribing alternative medicines.We should base our practice off of evidence-based clinical trials." In the U.S., prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancers in men. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Off The Cuff
Did Alternative Medicine Kill Steve Jobs?

When they first discovered the tumor in his pancreas in October 2003, his doctors told him an immediate operation was necessary, and could lead to a cure.

As first reported by Peter Elkind in 2008, Seve Jobs decided to think different, declined surgery, and explored alternative medicine treatments for his disease.

Nine months later, in July 2004, the tumor had grown. Only then would he allow his doctors to operate.

Would Steve Jobs still be alive today had he consented to surgery when his tumor was first discovered?

Without knowing more details about his case, such as the grade and stage of the tumor, it is hard to say. However, Dr. Roderich Schwartz, an experienced cancer surgeon, has said waiting more than a few weeks to take action on such a rare diagnosis "makes no sense because you don't know what the potential for growth or spread is."

Steve Jobs is not the first public figure to seek answers outside conventional medical science.
  • Steve McQueen (1930-1980) was probably the first modern celebrity to attract widespread public attention with his efforts to cure asbestos-related cancer through unorthodox treatments in Mexico, where he died.
  • Farrah Fawcett (1947-2009) and Bret Hudson (1953- ) sought unconventional treatments for anal and throat cancers, respectively. They even underwent treatment at the same German cancer clinic. Even after her cancer regressed following alternative treatments, Farrah eventually lost her battle with anal cancer on June 25 2009. Bret however has been declared cancer free after completing a brutal chemotherapy and radiation regimen.
  • Beastie Boyz's Adam Yauch (1964- ) developed,and beat, cancer of the salivary gland. He attributes his success to augmenting his treatments of conventional surgery and radiation therapy, with becoming a vegan at the recommendation of Tibetan doctors. Yauch's introduction to Tibetan medicine came after converting from Judaism to Buddhism.
Steve Jobs, also a Buddhist, was reportedly skeptical about mainstream medicine.

Read More........


The Science of Milk: Major Components

Dive into a brief tour to see milk's properties up close and how its vital proteins and nutrients keep your bones strong and healthy.

"Milk is one of nature's richest sources of nutrients, but even though it seems simple, it is a fascinating and complex product full of unique molecules and interactions," states Ruud J.W. Schoemaker, Senior Researcher at FrieslandCampina.

"XVIVO's attention to detail and ability to create an engaging, easy to understand story behind this extraordinary product was key to bringing nature's generous contribution to life."


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