Showing posts with label Ravidasvir. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ravidasvir. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Hep C and B August Newsletters - Liver Wellness Tips & Generic Direct Acting Antivirals

News updated Aug 8, 2018

August Newsletters
Welcome folks! Read the latest hep B or C news in this months collection of newsletters, published monthly by a small group of kind people devoted to educating us all about liver disease. In addition, access new blog posts with information about major issues surrounding viral hepatitis, as well as tips for maintaining a healthy liver, again, provided by a handful of inspirational writers who blog just for you. Finally read today's news updated as the day progresses, check back for updates. 

Liver Wellness Tips
In honor of World Hepatitis Day, start with:10 TERRIFIC WAYS TO LOVE YOUR LIVER THIS SUMMER, a must read series covering everything from foods containing anti-inflammatory agents to liver-friendly yoga poses! Recently launched by Al D. Rodriguez Liver Foundation.

Today's News
GIS – 08 August 2018: The Ministry of Health and Quality of Life will organise a Conference on Hepatitis C in October 2018. 
The Conference will involve the participation of experts from the United Kingdom, Australia, Egypt and South Africa so as to guide the health care professionals on treatment and elimination of hepatitis C in Mauritius.

Its main objectives will be to educate the local doctors in the new treatments of hepatitis C and to develop a large scale treatment strategy for those who have been diagnosed. The Conference also aims at sourcing affordable tests for hepatitis C and developing a strategy for eliminating hepatitis C in Mauritius by 2025.

New PHE data shows a decrease in deaths from hepatitis C but diagnoses of advanced liver disease and related cancers remain stable.

Researchers have found that a group of viruses that cause severe stomach illness — including the one famous for widespread outbreaks on cruise ships — get transmitted to humans through membrane-cloaked “virus clusters” that exacerbate the spread and severity of disease.

The World and Everything in It: hospice for the homeless.
Death with dignity - WORLD Radio Blog
At age 50, Linda is dying of Hepatitis C that she contracted from needles while she was a heroin addict. Now the disease is causing her liver to fail. She's in a lot …

August 7
Express Scripts Holding Co. said it will drop 48 drugs next year from its closely watched lineup of covered therapies, including Gilead Sciences Inc.’s HIV treatment Atripla and AbbVie Inc.’s hot-selling Mavyret medicine for hepatitis C. Express Scripts said that next year it will cover Symfi, a new HIV combo pill from Mylan NV that the benefit manager said has a 40 percent lower list price than Atripla. Express Scripts will also cover Merck & Co.’s lower-cost hepatitis C medicine Zepatier. In July, Merck said that it was cutting its list price for the drug by 60 percent.

Seeking your help to end the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics and significantly reduce the incidence of STDs in California!
Aug 7, 2018
It is time for California to develop its own Ending the Epidemic plan! The California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Centers, together with viral hepatitis and STD organizations (including Project Inform), have launched a community-driven effort to inform development of a statewide plan to end the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics and significantly reduce the incidence of STDs.

"This is a lifesaver": Patients who accepted infected kidney transplants cured of hepatitis C
Some patients in desperate need of a kidney transplant participated in a bold experiment where they received organs infected with hepatitis C. The gamble paid off.

7, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Dialysis patients waiting for kidney transplants might safely accept an organ from a donor infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), …

Publish date: August 7, 2018
By Mark S. Lesney ID Practitioner
Marked differences were seen in the composition of hepatitis C virus hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) when comparing HIV-coinfected (CIP) with HCV-monoinfected (MIP) individuals, according to the results of a genetic analysis of nearly 300 patients.

Study: Alcohol Abuse Increases Risks in Patients with Hepatitis C
Aug 7, 2018
The interaction between alcohol abuse and hepatitis C virus (HCV) can ... The study noted that approximately 20% of patients with alcoholic hepatitis have HCV.

August 6
Healio - Aug 6, 2018
Patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection died an average of 14 years ... evidence of diabetes (27.2%), a history of alcohol abuse (17.7%), hepatitis C or …

FDA gives drugmakers new ways to prove opioid disorder treatments work
By Steven Ross Johnson | August 6, 2018
Under the new draft guidance, drug developers can look beyond whether medication-assisted treatments reduce patients' opioid use. They can prove efficacy through drops in mortality, emergency department visits, or transmission of hepatitis C. Other measurable outcomes could include improvements in patients' ability to resume work or school, or by the share of patients with moderate to severe forms of opioid use disorder who go into remission while using the experimental MAT therapies.

Entecavir Associated With Later Virological Relapse Than Tenofovir
Aug 6, 2018
A comparison of the nucleos(t)ide analogues tenofovir and entecavir revealed that virological relapse occurred much later for people with a chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who were e antigen negative after stopping entecavir, according to findings published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Ascletis Pharma Inc. (1672.HK) announced today Ravidasvir is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for the Care and Treatment of Persons Diagnosed with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection (July 2018) as a future pan-genotypic direct-acting antivirals agent (DAA). Ascletis received the acceptance letter for Ravidasvir new drug application (NDA) from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) on August 1.

Related: April 12, 2018
sofosbuvir/ravidasvir
The results indicate that the sofosbuvir/ravidasvir combination is comparable to the very best hepatitis C therapies available today, but it is priced affordably and could allow an alternative option in countries excluded from pharmaceutical company access programmes,” said Dr Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director, DNDi.

Integrating Treatments for Opioid Use Disorder and Infectious Diseases
Aug 6, 2018
All healthcare providers have a role in combating the opioid use disorder (OUD) epidemic and its infectious disease (ID) consequences, according to an article published in Annals of Internal Medicine

Britain plans for opt-out organ donation scheme to save lives
LONDON Britain plans to increase the number of organ donors by changing the rules of consent and presuming that people have agreed to transplants unless they have specifically opted out.

Read The Latest News
For a quick review of news, stroll over to the good people at HepCBC to read the latest issue of the Weekly Bull.

Journal Updates
International Journal of Infectious Diseases
2 August 2018
Download: High Efficacy of Generic and Brand Direct Acting Antivirals in Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C.

August Updates On This Blog
New Articles Under: Other Conditions Related To HCV 
- Hepatitis C-Diabetes associated w-advanced fibrosis and progression in HCV non-genotype 3 patients
- Symptom burden, medical comorbidities, and functional well-being of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) initiating direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy in real-world clinical settings 

New Articles Under: HCC during and after direct-acting antiviral therapy in patients with hepatitis C
- Direct Antiviral Therapy of Hep C May Not Boost Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk

New Articles Under: HCV-Statins 
- Statins: old drugs as new therapy for liver diseases?

New Articles Under: HCV-Education
- Long–term effect of liver fibrosis after SVR in patients with HCV 

July News
Spotlight on mortality trends in liver disease
One study looked at 10-year U.S. mortality trends related to chronic liver diseases, while another assessed mortality from cirrhosis and liver cancer in the U.S. from 1999 to 2016.
“It is clear that the introduction of oral, highly efficacious and well-tolerated antiviral agents has improved outcomes in patients with viral hepatitis,” they wrote. “However, future challenges with [alcoholic liver disease] and NAFLD will pose a different set of problems and will necessitate a multidisciplinary approach with a dedicated focus on minorities.”

Disparities in Access to Direct Acting Antiviral Regimens for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV): The Impact of Race and Insurance Status 
Despite highly effective and well-tolerated regimens for treating hepatitis C virus (HCV), patients face barriers in accessing treatment. In addition to suboptimal HCV screening programs and lack of effective linkage-to-care, other barriers include strict requirements from some payers to cover treatment. This study reports insurance status and Hispanic ethnicity as predictors of not receiving treatment. 

“Coordinated care has the potential to improve access to treatment for individuals with hepatitis C who are naive to direct-acting antivirals; however, having Medicaid could hamper access, according to a recent study published in PLoSONE.”

People born between 1945 and 1975 are the group of people who are most likely to suffer from chronic hepatitis C in Canada, and Greg Powell is a Canadian who is part of those people. Greg contacted the hepatitis C in the 1980s, but the diagnosis came ten years later. Greg was already suffering from hemophilia B which is a hereditary bleeding disorder, so he needed to benefit from a series of blood transfusions.

Wayne Kuznar, for MDLinx
Nearly three fourths of patients who present with acetaminophen-induced acute liver injury (ALI) or failure (ALF) are women, according to findings from a North American registry. Women with acetaminophen overdose leading to ALI/ALF were more likely than men to present with high-grade hepatic encephalopathy and have critical care needs, and more likely to have psychiatric disease and to co-ingest sedating agents with acetaminophen.

Newsletters
HCV Advocate
The HCV Advocate newsletter is a valuable resource designed to provide the hepatitis C community with monthly updates on events, clinical research, and education.
Newsletter Highlights
August Issue
HealthWise – Hepatitis C and Sugar by Lucinda Porter, RN – Lucinda discusses effects of sugar on the body, hepatitis C, and fatty liver. 
(1) State Prisons Fail to Offer Cure to 144,000 Inmates with Deadly Hepatitis C
(2) What’s Being Done to Stop the Spread of Hepatitis A in the Midwest? 
SnapShots by Alan Franciscus: 
-Efficacy of sofosbuvir and velpatasvir, with and without ribavirin, in patients with HCV genotype 3 infection and cirrhosis
-Incidence and spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C (HCV) in PWID at the Stockholm needle exchange – importance for HCV elimination
-Microenvironment eradication of hepatitis C: A novel treatment paradigm
-All‐oral direct‐acting antiviral therapy against hepatitis C virus (HCV) in human immunodeficiency virus/HCV–coinfected subjects in real‐world practice: Madrid coinfection registry findings
Abstract:  Use of ribavirin in viruses other than hepatitis C. A review of the evidence,
Genotype from Punjab, India: Expanding classification of hepatitis C virus into 8 genotypes

The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) is national coalition working together to eliminate hepatitis B and C in the United States.
Save the date: Webinar August 8th on Engaging Drug Users to Fight Stigma and Access HCV
On Wednesday, August 8, 2018
National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, the Urban Survivor's Union, the People’s Harm Reduction Alliance, and the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition will be hosting a webinar; Engaging Drug Users to Fight Stigma and Access HCV. These groups are working collaboratively on the "More than Tested, Empowered" project which addresses barriers to hepatitis C care faced by individuals who use drugs. The webinar will include findings from surveys delivered to healthcare providers and suggested educational messaging to improve access to hepatitis C care. In addition, each partner will discuss their methods for integrating participants into their work. After the presentation, there will be time for questions and discussion. 

Need To Talk To Someone?
If you need information and resources about finding financial help to pay for low cost testing, or finding a free or low cost clinic, or financial help with payment for treatments, please call us. We know how to find doctors and support groups. We know how to help you find resources where you live. We have experienced hepatitis C ourselves or have supported patients living with hep C. We are peer counselors. Help-4-Hep is a trusted source of information, support and referrals—all free of charge to you.
Learn more about Help-4-Hep
View all NVHR newsletters

The New York City Hepatitis C Task Force
The New York City Hepatitis C Task Force is a city-wide network of service providers and advocates concerned with hepatitis C and related issues. The groups come together to learn, share information and resources, network, and identify hepatitis C related needs in the community. Committees form to work on projects in order to meet needs identified by the community.
July 27, 2018 - NY Governor Announces First-In-Nation Task Force To Eliminate Hepatitis C 
View: Hep Free NYC Newsletters
Review all news updates.

HCV Action
HCV Action brings together hepatitis C health professionals from across the patient pathway with the pharmaceutical industry and patient representatives to share expertise and good practice.
Aug 3, 2018
HCV Action e-update: July 2018

World Hepatitis Alliance
We run global campaigns, convene high-level policy events, build capacity and pioneer global movements, ensuring people living with viral hepatitis guide every aspect of our work.
View Recent Newsletters 
World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) presents hepVoice, a monthly magazine with updates on the latest projects, news from WHA members and key developments in the field of hepatitis.

GI & Hepatology News
Over 17,000 gastroenterologists and hepatologists rely on GI & Hepatology News every month to cover the world of medicine with breaking news, on-site medical meeting coverage, and expert perspectives both in print and online. 
Hot topics
Lin Chang, MD
Publish date: August 1, 2018
Hepatitis B virus reactivation, endoscopic bariatric therapy, and more.
View all updates here....

Hep-Your Guide to Hepatitis
Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis. Offering unparalleled editorial excellence since 2010, Hep and HepMag.com are the go-to source for educational and social support for people living with hepatitis.
View - all issues
Check out the talented people who blog at Hep.

Hepatitis Victoria
Hepatitis Victoria is the peak not-for-profit community organisation working across the state for people affected by or at risk of viral hepatitis.
Check out this new Liver Health app: 'Top app for liver health is LiverWELL' says influential U.S. health blogger.
View the Latest Newsletter, or relax and listen to a short podcasts interviewing health experts and practioners on topics related to viral hepatitis - come have a listen!

British Liver Trust
The British Liver Trust is the leading UK liver disease charity for adults – we provide information and support; increase awareness of how liver disease can be prevented and promote early diagnosis; fund and champion research and campaign for better services. 
News: Almost half of people with Hepatitis C in the UK are unaware
On Saturday 28th July, World Hepatitis Day, the British Liver Trust unites with organisations, health professionals and supporters across the world to push for urgent …
View Recent Newsletters, here.

National Institutes of Health
A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
August Newsletter
Topics
Loneliness Affects All Ages
Health Capsule - Preventing Shingles

Harvard Health
Ask the doctors

Inspirational Bloggers
Karen Hoyt is devoted to offering support and accurate information to people coping with the effects of hepatitis C.
Latest blog entry: Tired with Liver Disease: There’s a Nap for That

Lucinda K. Porter
Lucinda Porter is a nurse, speaker, advocate and patient devoted to increasing awareness about hepatitis C.
Latest blog entry: Wading Through Medicare

Hep 
Hep is an award-winning print and online brand for people living with and affected by viral hepatitis.
Latest blog entry: A World Without Hepatitis Advocates
Healing Your Fatty Liver

Hepatitis NSW 
We provide information, support, referral and advocacy for people affected by viral hepatitis in NSW. We also provide workforce development and education services both to prevent the transmission of viral hepatitis and to improve services for those affected by it.
Latest blog entry: Govt intervenes to keep hep C elimination on track

Life Beyond Hepatitis C
Life Beyond Hep C is where faith, medical resources and patient support meet, helping Hep C patients and their families navigate through the entire journey of Hep C.
Latest blog entry: Newly Diagnosed with Hepatitis C, What Do I Do Next?

CATIE Blog
A comprehensive website for HIV and hepatitis C information
Latest blog entry: Eliminating hepatitis C among Canadian immigrants and newcomers: how
CanHepC’s blueprint will impact my work.

Canadian Liver Foundation 
We strive to improve prevention and the quality of life of those living with liver disease by advocating for better screening, access to treatment, and patient care.
Latest blog entry: Life After Hepatitis C: A New Chapter

Pacific Hepatitis C Network
The Pacific Hepatitis C Network works with people living with hepatitis C, with community based organizations and with government to address concerns about hepatitis C prevention, care, treatment access and support.
Latest blog entry: A few words from PHCN’s President on World Hepatitis Day 2018

The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide.
Latest blog entry: - Newly Diagnosed with Hepatitis B? How Did I Get this? Learning the HBV Transmission Basics.

HepatitisC.net
At HepatitisC.net we empower patients and caregivers to take control of Hepatitis C by providing a platform to learn, educate, and connect with peers and healthcare professionals.
Latest blog entry: Should I Be Screened for Liver Cancer?

HIV and ID Observations  
An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, all matters medical, and some not so medical.
Latest blog entry: Really Rapid Review — International AIDS Conference 2018, Amsterdam

From The Archives 
SVR leads to significant improvement of liver fibrosis.
Research has shown people who are cured of their HCV infection experience a reduction in the rate of liver fibrosis progression, as well as improved liver function. For instance published in Antiviral Therapy/Aug 2017, evidence suggest HCV eradication or response to treatment (cure) is associated with regression of fibrosis and recovery of liver function which can be detected as early as end of treatment, check out the article: SVR in HCV leads to an early and significant improvement of liver fibrosis. In this more recent study presented at the 2018 Liver Congress researchers reported; Sustained & continued improvement in hepatic fibrosis beyond the first-year (& in the subsequent 3 years) following HCV treatment. Finally, published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics/May 29, 2018 researchers reported: anti-viral therapy reduced liver fibrosis and steatosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus.

Healthy You
Simple swaps to eat less salt
The top 10 sources of sodium in the American diet include processed foods that contain several high-sodium ingredients, such as cheese and cured meats

Diet Heavy in Meat Boosts NAFLD Risk
Large study shows 40% increased risk in overweight, elderly patients

Probiotic use is a link between brain fogginess, severe bloating
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
While probiotics can be beneficial in some scenarios, like helping a patient restore his gut bacteria after taking antibiotics, the investigators advised caution against its excessive and indiscriminate use.

"Probiotics should be treated as a drug, not as a food supplement," Rao says, noting that many individuals self-prescribe the live bacteria, which are considered good for digestion and overall health.... 

August 6, 20184:58 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition 
New research suggests the mix of microbes in our guts can either help — or hinder — weight-loss efforts.



Watch: Liver Function Tests
The ACG now suggests that "liver function tests" be referred to as "liver chemistries" or "liver tests.
The reasoning behind the name change is "Liver Function Tests" are not true measures of hepatic function. Listen to this 2017 short podcast hosted by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH to learn more about test guidelines.

Recently, Lab Tests Online AU uploaded the following video explaining commonly used tests to check liver function such as; alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), albumin, and bilirubin tests. The ALT and AST tests measure enzymes that your liver releases in response to damage or disease.



Thanks for stopping by!
Tina

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Liver Congress™ 2018 Affordable hepatitis C combination treatment - Target price of US$300 for a 12-week treatment

Related
Video Healio:
April 13, 2018
PARIS — Using a new medication and generic sofosbuvir, researchers reached 97% sustained virologic response in patients with hepatitis C both with and without…

New affordable hepatitis C combination treatment shows 97% cure rate
Results support a public health approach to hepatitis C

An affordable hepatitis C combination treatment including the new drug candidate ravidasvir has been shown to be safe and effective, with extremely high cure rates for patients, including hard-to-treat cases, according to interim results from the Phase II/III STORM-C-1 trial presented by the non-profit research and development organisation Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) at the International Liver Conference in Paris.

The results indicate that the sofosbuvir/ravidasvir combination is comparable to the very best hepatitis C therapies available today, but it is priced affordably and could allow an alternative option in countries excluded from pharmaceutical company access programmes,” said Dr Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director, DNDi.

The trial using medicines produced by Egyptian drug manufacturer Pharco Pharmaceuticals was run by DNDi and co-sponsored by the Malaysian Ministry of Health, in ten sites in Malaysia and Thailand. Agreements signed in 2016 and 2017 enabling the trials and patient scale-up in Malaysia set out a target price of US$300 for a 12-week treatment, an almost 100% drop from existing treatment prices in Malaysia.

“As hepatitis C has become a major public health concern in Malaysia, it is crucial to increase access to treatment for the benefit of the nation,” said Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director General of Health, Ministry of Health, Malaysia. In September 2017, the government of Malaysia issued a “government-use” license on sofosbuvir patents to allow 400,000 people living with hepatitis C in Malaysia to access generic HCV regimens in public hospitals.

DNDi conducted the STORM-C-1 open label trial to assess the efficacy, safety, tolerance, and pharmacokinetics of the drug candidate ravidasvir combined with sofosbuvir. 301 chronically infected adults were treated with the ravidasvir/sofosbuvir combination for 12 weeks for patients without cirrhosis of the liver, and for 24 weeks for those with compensated cirrhosis. In accordance with international standards defining cure for HCV treatments, 12 weeks after treatment completion, 97% of those enrolled were cured (95% CI: 94.4-98.6). Cure rates were very high even for the hardest-to-treat patients: people with liver cirrhosis (96% cured), people living with HIV using their usual treatment (97%), people infected with genotype 3 (97%) including those with cirrhosis (96%), and people who had been exposed to previous HCV treatments (96%). Importantly, patients combining several of these risk factors were cured, and no unexpected safety signals were detected.

Click on image to enlarge


“From a treatment provider perspective, this is very exciting as we have been waiting for a simple, affordable, robust treatment tolerated by all patients groups, including those whose treatment outcomes are currently poorer, like patients under antiretroviral therapy,” said Pierre Mendiharat, Deputy Operations Director for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF). “This will be crucial to expand treatment to the most vulnerable categories of patients in developing countries.” MSF and DNDi are working together to increase access to care and treatment for HCV patients in key low- and middle-income countries, through the STORM-C project financed by MSF’s Transformational Investment Capacity (TIC) initiative.

Over 71 million people live with hepatitis C worldwide, a disease which causes 400,000 deaths a year. Although highly effective treatments have existed for a number of years, less than three million people are on treatment, with more people infected every year than are put on treatment. The World Health Organization aims for 80% of people diagnosed with HCV to be put on treatment by 2030.

Ravidasvir is an oral NS5A inhibitor licensed to DNDi by Presidio Pharmaceuticals. Most people enrolled in the DNDi trial in Malaysia and Thailand had genotype 1 (42% of participants) or genotype 3 (53%), thereby confirming the combination’s effectiveness for those two additional genotypes. Further trials are planned to document the efficacy and safety of the combination in patients infected with the other HCV genotypes and in particularly vulnerable groups, to enable a public health approach to the treatment of hepatitis C.

“Pharco is proud to enable a public health approach to hepatitis C treatment by providing affordable treatments. We look forward to future collaboration in additional clinical trials to confirm the safety and efficacy of ravidasvir,” said Dr Sherine Helmy, CEO, Pharco.

Poster reference
Isabelle Andrieux-Meyer, Tan Soek Siam,Nicolas Salvadori, François Simon, Tim R. Cressey, Hajiah Rosaida Hi Mohd Said, Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan, Haniza Omar, Hoi-Poh Tee, Chan Wah Kheong, Goh Khean Lee, Sharifah Faridah Syed Omar, Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Suresh Kumar, Satawat Thongsawat, Kanawee Thetket, Anchalee Avihingsanon, Suparat Khemnark, Sombat Thanprasertsuk, Jean-Michel Piedagnel, Sasikala Siva, Nur Asimah, Nelson Da Silva, Jennifer Brenner, Bernard Pecoul, Marc Lallemant, Shahnaz Murad. Safety and efficacy of ravidasvir plus sofosbuvir 12 weeks in non-cirrhotic and 24 weeks in cirrhotic patients with hepatitis C virus genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 6: the STORM-C-1 phase II/III trial. International Liver Congress, Paris, April 11-15 2018, France. Poster LBP-032.

About DNDi
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit R&D organization working to deliver new treatments for neglected patients, in particular sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filaria, paediatric HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis C. www.dndi.org

In the media
Health drug prices
Fortune
Hepatitis C Drugs Can Cost $84,000. This New One May Be Just As Good—But Cost $300
By Sy Mukherjee
Striking advances in hepatitis C drug development over the past five years have made the infectious, liver-wasting viral disease a curable one—if you can afford the drugs. Made by companies like Gilead, AbbVie, Merck, and others, drugs that treat the disease are listed at tens of thousands of dollars in the U.S. But a nonprofit is making its own hepatitis C combination medication that it says is just as effective as those created by for-profit drug giants. And it could cost just $300 for 12 weeks of treatment in poor nations like Malaysia.

On This Blog
The controversy over expensive new drugs for hepatitis C
Link to research and news articles addressing the high cost of hepatitis C drugs; insurance restrictions - private insurers/Medicaid - and availability of generic versions/India, Egypt and other lower-income countries or through online "buyers clubs"

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Medicines Patent Pool and Pharco Pharmaceuticals Sign Licence for Promising Hepatitis C Drug Candidate Ravidasvir


Agreement seeks to improve health options for hepatitis C patients in low- and middle-income countries  

Amsterdam, Netherlands, 21 April 2017 —The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) announced a new licence and technology transfer agreement with Egyptian company Pharco Pharmaceuticals for ravidasvir (RAV), an investigational direct-acting antiviral (DAA) with the potential of working across all six major hepatitis C genotypes. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the International Liver Congress in Amsterdam, will enable competitive supply of RAV in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) including high prevalence nations Russia, Ukraine, Egypt and Iran.

“If successfully developed, ravidasvir could help treat millions of hepatitis C patients and we are pleased to work with Pharco to ensure the availability of affordable versions,” said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool.

“Chronic hepatitis C affects approximately 71 million people globally, with Egypt suffering from one of the highest burdens,” said Dr. Sherine Helmy, CEO of Pharco Pharmaceuticals. “RAV, in combination with other hepatitis C treatments, could support new national as well as global goals to eliminate the virus.”

MPP’s agreement expands the geographic scope of a licence signed by Presidio, the original developer of RAV, and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in March 2016, extending coverage to several LMICs that were not included in the DNDi licence. Combined, the MPP and DNDi agreements could potentially benefit countries where 85.3% of people live with hepatitis C in the 139 block of economies classified by the World Bank as low- and middle-income.

“DNDi is currently sponsoring trials of ravidasvir in combination with sofosbuvir with the objective of providing a pan-genotypic and affordable treatment for eventual distribution in developing countries,” said Dr. Bernard Pécoul, Executive Director of DNDi. “DNDi welcomes the opportunity to work with all partners to ensure that safe, effective and affordable drugs are made available to all those in need.”

“The combined efforts of MPP, DNDi and private sector partners show how R&D and licensing can be leveraged to deliver successful health solutions,” said Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of UNITAID, MPP’s funder.

RAV is an NS5A inhibitor that, in a Phase III trial in Egypt conducted by Pharco, demonstrated cure rates of up to 100% in patients with genotype 4 when used in combination with other treatments. The MPP also has a licence for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir, one of several approved DAAs with pan-genotypic potential that is revolutionising the hepatitis C field. Ten generic manufacturing companies are now licensed to produce and sell daclatasvir in 112 countries.

The MPP-Pharco licence for RAV is royalty-bearing over net sales in the licensed territory (four percent in low-income nations and seven percent for middle-income countries). Pharco Pharmaceuticals is waiving royalties for paediatric formulations. The licence includes a technology transfer to MPP’s sub-licensees.

About the Medicines Patent Pool
The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, the MPP partners with industry, civil society, international organisations, patient groups and other stakeholders to prioritise, forecast and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with eight patent holders for twelve HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, a tuberculosis treatment and two hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals. The MPP was founded and is funded by UNITAID.
Licence and list of countries in the MPP-Pharco agreement
Access DNDi April 2016 press release
Contact:
Katherine Moore
Head of Communications
Medicines Patent Pool
Tel: +41 22 533 5054 | Mobile: +41 79 825 4786