Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hepatitis C Is Not Just A Celebrity Disease:Morning News Nov 18th

Hepatitis C Is Not Just A Celebrity Disease

On the blog this morning, TMC435 positive interim data on Phase 2b ASPIRE study for HCV

Medivir, which still needs to conduct the last trial needed to seek regulatory approval, said 78 percent of patients who didn’t respond at all to initial treatment had undetectable virus levels after taking TMC435, almost twice as many as those who received a placebo.
The medication also led to undetectable virus levels in 94 percent of patients who had relapsed after receiving earlier care. That compared with 83 percent of patients taking a placebo. 462 patients participated in the 48-week study, with results taken half way through.
Over at Medscape Medical News Top 10 Medical News Stories of 2010
Interesting article at Medpage : AHA: Docs Don't Discuss Drug Interactions
debra s, rn wrote "Amazingly most of the patients I interview do not know the names of the medications they take, nor ..."
Posted on the blog yesterday Treatment of Hepatitis C in 2011 Although this was published in Feb 2010 it covers Peg/Riba and the importance they have when treating in combination with the new agents soon to be FDA approved. "This article reviews recently learned important concepts regarding the treatment of chronic HCV with peginterferon and ribavirin. These concepts are critically important to understand, because they have a direct bearing on how direct-acting antiviral agents (DAA) will be used with peginterferon and ribavirin to treat chronic HCV in 2011".
Also this data gets right to the heart of Response-Guided Therapy making it very easy to understand."It was demonstrated recently that the time when the patient first becomes HCV RNA undetectable is directly related to the relapse rate and is the single most important determinant of SVR"
Large, unmet needs in medicine have always spurred innovation in novel drug development. A textbook case of this can be found in the effort to fight Hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus that primarily affects the liver. The virus triggers an immune response – one that the virus almost always successfully evades– causing liver inflammation and scarring. Slowly, over a period of 20-30 years in most cases, the scarring can progress to decompensated cirrhosis, liver cancer and eventually liver failure. Lack of general knowledge regarding the disease in both the patient and healthcare provider population has created an environment of chronic underscreening, underdiagnosis and lack of proper treatment.
From Medical News Today :
Top Hospital Organ Transplant Centers Identified By HealthGrades
18 November 2010HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent ratings organization, today made available to organ transplant patients a list of those hospitals with the best track record for survival and chances of receiving a donor organ...
USC Study Finds That Hispanic Children Are Genetically Predisposed To Developing Fatty Liver Disease
18 November 2010Two studies from the Childhood Obesity Research Center at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) have found evidence that Hispanic children and adolescents are genetically predisposed to...

News From The Journal Of Clinical Investigation: Nov. 15, 2010
17 November 2010VIROLOGY: The proteins PD-1 and Tim-3: double trouble for hepatitis C virus immune cells In a large proportion of patients who become infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), the virus evades the anti-viral immune response to...
-- 11/18/10 -- After further analyses of the international, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multi-center phase IIb study of Bionor Pharma's (OSLO: BIONOR) therapeutic HIV-vaccine candidate, Vacc-4x, the Company reports an unexpected statistically significant reduction in viral load (amount of HIV virus) at the end of the study period for patients on the vaccine compared to the placebo group.
Multi-client Study: Opportunities Assessment for the Hepatitis C Therapeutics Market in Malaysia - new market report published
. .
Hepatitis C Therapeutics Market in Malaysia -
a new market research report on ( -
. Owing to Malaysia´s efforts to raise disease awareness, there has been a spurt in the number of Hepatitis C-diagnosed cases in the country, which, in turn, has expanded the patient pool for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. The high success rates of the current standard treatment of Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin on Genotype 2 and 3 patients have encouraged more patients to seek this line of treatment. However, the positive patient response to the combination therapy of Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin has been diluted by the long duration and known side effects of the treatment. Treatment duration vary from 24 to 48 weeks, requiring weekly visits to physicians, while the side effects include bone marrow depression, flu-like symptoms, neuropsychiatric disorders, and autoimmune syndromes. These factors lower patients´ compliance and sometimes result in treatment discontinuation.Companies that offer disease education and explore new treatments that improve efficacy and decrease side effects, which are likely to increase compliance, are very likely to succeed in the market. Refined versions of current HCV drugs, oral formulations of small molecule inhibitors, and a new drug class known as protease inhibitors are in the pipeline and represent the future of HCV treatment. Creating incentives for patients to stay the course of the current HCV treatment will increase the rates of patient compliance with the new, improved treatments. In order to increase their HCV market share with newer drugs, companies must make sure that patients are aware of their disease status and are willing to try new treatments. Creating marketing campaigns that highlight better efficacy, as well as partnerships with governments to lower costs and increase distribution, will enhance their market
Compound That Blocks Sugar Pathway Slows Cancer Cell Growth
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have identified a compound that could be used to starve cancers of their sugar-based building blocks. The compound, called a glutaminase inhibitor, has been tested on laboratory-cultured, sugar-hungry brain cancer cells and, the scientists say, may have the potential to be used for many types of primary brain tumors.
Cleveland Clinic offers free health tips
This is the first in series of useful health tips being put out by the doctors and specialists of Cleveland Clinic. It consists of useful information everyone can use.
Liver Transplantation Linked to Accelerated Cellular Aging
Liver transplant recipients develop premature immune senescence, the normal process by which the immune system ages and becomes less effective, researchers at the University of Cambridge hav...
Partial Liver Transplantation and Native Organ Regeneration
“Partial Liver transplantation, transplanted liver functions till the patient’s original liver regenerates.” Doctors in USA have been trying out a new method of par...
As the United States continues debating expanded health care access, the state of Arizona has begun rationing some care it says it cannot afford to give its poorest residents. Beginning on Oct. 1, Arizona's Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, stopped covering seven types of organ transplants, including heart transplants for non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, lung transplants, pancreatic transplants, some bone marrow transplants and liver transplants for patients with hepatitis C.
Randy Shepherd is a 36-year-old father of three who needs a transplant to replace a failing heart weakened by childhood bouts of rheumatic fever. When he was placed on a transplant waiting list last year, the prospect of resuming a normal life with a healthy donor heart helped him tolerate the fatigue, lost appetite and the inability to play sports he loved and work at the small plumbing business he founded.
Hepatitis C and EAll strains of hepatitis attack and destroy the liver, leading to infection, cirrhosis and possibly cancer. Intercell and GlaxoSmithkline have Phase II programs for hepatitis C and E, respectively. The combined market for a preventative hepatitis vaccine is projected to hit $2.3 billion.
HIV/AIDS An HIV/AIDS vaccine has been one of the most sough-after preventative treatments since the disease was first identified in the 1980s. Sadly, the development field has been littered with failure. Crucell, GSK, Mymetics and Novartis are all working on Phase I programs, but Bavarian Nordic's Phase II MVA-BN HIV is the most advanced.

AZT not linked to worsening anaemia in patients starting ART in Uganda

Starting HIV treatment with a drug combination that includes AZT is not associated with a risk of developing severe anaemia during the first six months of therapy, Ugandan investigators report in The Journal of the International AIDS Society.
Haemoglobin levels increased in the overwhelming majority of patients after HIV treatment was started. This included those with severe anaemia at baseline who initiated therapy with an AZT-containing regimen.


Occult Hepatitis B Infection in Egyptian Chronic Hepatitis C patients: Prevalence, impact on Pegylated Interferon/Ribavirin therapy

Chronic HCV infection combined with occult hepatitis B infection has been associated with liver enzymes flare, advanced hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis, poor response to standard interferon-alpha, and increased risk of HCC. This study aimed to elucidate the prevalence of occult hepatitis B infection in Egyptian chronic HCV patients, and to clarify its role in non-response of those patients to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy.This study enrolled 155 consecutive chronic HCV patients under pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy. All patients were exposed to clinical assessment, biochemical, histological and virological examinations.HBV parameters (HBV DNA, anti-HBc, anti-HBs) and patients'response status to the combination therapy were determined. Results: In this study, occult hepatitis B infection occurs in 3.9% of Egyptian chronic HCV patients; tends to affect younger age patients, associated with higher base line HCV viral load, less hepatic fibrosis than monoinfected patients. This occult hepatitis B infection is not a statistically significant cause of non-response to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy.Anti-HBs was not associated with any biochemical, histological or virological abnormalities in those patients, contrary to low response rate to therapy and higher HCV viral load that was observed with anti-HBc. Conclusions: Detection of HBV DNA in HBsAg negative chronic HCV patients plays a non significant role in non-response of Egyptian patients to pegylated interferon/ribavirin therapy.Author: Mohamed EmaraNahla El-GammalLamiaa MohamedMaged BahgatCredits/

Source: Virology Journal 2010, 7:324

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