Hepatitis C News
Week Ending April 13, 2014
EASL Releases Recommendations on the Management of Hepatitis C
‘The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) will this week be announcing new recommendations on the management of hepatitis C (HCV) at the International Liver Congress (ILC). These EASL recommendations reflect the approval of three new direct–acting antivirals (DAAs) during 2014 by the European Medicines Agency.’
Hep C Therapies to Hog Spotlight at EASL
‘LONDON — New treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV) will have most of the limelight this week at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver. A tidal wave of novel direct–acting agents has been building for several years and is set to break here, according to the association’s secretary–general, Markus Peck, MD, of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.’
New Treatments May Defuse Viral Time Bomb
‘Mohamed Ibrahim first learned he had hepatitis C when he tried to donate blood. Weeks later he received a letter from the blood clinic telling him he carried antibodies of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). He most likely acquired the disease from a blood transfusion he received during surgery when he was a child. “I needed a lot of blood, and this was at a time before they screened it,” Ibrahim recalls.’
WHO Calls for ‘Concerted Effort’ to Lower Hepatitis C Drug Cost
‘The cost of newer hepatitis C treatments, as high as $84,000 in the U.S., is unaffordable for most patients and must be lowered, the World Health Organization said in a report today providing guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of people with the virus.’
Bristol–Myers Squibb Submits NDAs for Daclatasvir and Asunaprevir to US FDA for the Treatment of Hepatitis C
‘Bristol–Myers Squibb Company BMY +0.49% announced today that they have submitted new drug applications (NDAs) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the investigational products daclatasvir (DCV), an NS5A replication complex inhibitor, and asunaprevir (ASV), a NS3 protease inhibitor. The data submitted in the NDAs support the use of DCV+ASV in patients with genotype 1b hepatitis C (HCV).’
New Chinese herbal medicine has significant potential in treating hepatitis C
‘Data from a late–breaking abstract presented at the International Liver Congress 2014 identifies a new compound, SBEL1, that has the ability to inhibit hepatitis C virus (HCV) activity in cells at several points in the virus’ lifecycle. SBEL1 is a compound isolated from Chinese herbal medicines that was found to inhibit HCV activity by approximately 90%.’
UPDATED: Watch out, Gilead. Merck is mounting a hep C combo comeback
‘Merck may be late to the blockbuster party with its new hepatitis C drugs, but the pharma giant is moving fast with a top contender boasting high cure rates. Merck ($MRK) unveiled interim Phase II results for an oral combination of MK–5172, its NS3/4A protease inhibitor, and MK–8742, an NS5A, among patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection. After 12 weeks of therapy 42 of 43 patients—98%—demonstrated a sustained viral response.’
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"How a Patient Fought Hepatitis C Virus and Won" By Regina Boyle Wheeler Reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD
December 26, 2013
Congress Acts to Save the Lives of Millions Living with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.
A vital weapon in the fight against chronic viral hepatitis was introduced on December 12, 2013 in the US House of Representatives. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R – Louisiana) introduced the Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2013, HR3723, on behalf of himself, Rep. Charlie Dent (R – Pennsylvania), and Brett Guthrie (R- Kentucky). The Viral Hepatitis Testing Act increases testing and education for viral hepatitis to healthcare providers and the general public. Roughly three quarters of individuals with viral hepatitis are unaware of their infection. Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer, one of the most lethal and fastest growing cancers in the United States.
At least 15,000 deaths per year in the US can be attributed to chronic hepatitis B (HBV) and chronic hepatitis C (HCV). Chronic HCV is a leading cause of death in Americans living with HIV/AIDS. If enacted, the bill would help save millions of American lives from unnecessary deaths due to viral hepatitis. Chronic HBV and chronic HCV usually do not cause symptoms early in the course of the disease, but after many years of a clinically ‘silent’ phase, estimates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that more than 33 percent of infected individuals will develop cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, or liver cancer. A majority of infected individuals do not know to take precautions to prevent the spread of their infection and can unknowingly exacerbate their own disease progression.
The champions of this bill stress that it is vital that the increased screening efforts are paired with a robust and effective linkage to care program so that all individuals who require care may receive it. Exciting new therapies are now emerging in the field of viral hepatitis that effectively treat the symptoms of most individuals with HBV and can cure the majority of individuals infected with HCV.
Lorren Sandt, Executive Director of the Caring Ambassadors Program, has spent more than a decade on the hill advocating for a viral hepatitis testing bill. “Introduction of this bill is a huge step towards eradicating the epidemics of HBV and HCV.” She encouraged everyone to contact their members of congress with a simple message, “Tell your elected officials that they should support this bill. If it passes, it will help to save millions of American lives.”
Caring Ambassadors Program is a non-profit patient advocacy organization that has been working to improve the lives of individuals with viral hepatitis since 1999.
HR3723 in PDF format
Fair Pricing Coalition Condemns Gilead Sciences on the High Price of New Hepatitis C Drug Sovaldi™, and Urges Rapid and Wide Dissemination of Support Program Details for Uninsured and Underinsured People Living with Hepatitis C Full Press Release
FDA NEWS RELEASE
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Olysio (simeprevir), a new therapy to treat chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
Full Press Release
Fair Pricing Coalition Disappointed by the High Price of New Janssen Hepatitis C Drug Olysio (simeprevir) Full Press Release
by Benjamin Ryan
The hepatitis C pipeline: huge changes on the horizon
Hepatitis C: Prepare to meet your match. The future is almost here.
CAP-Hepatitis C Get Involved
Act Now to Impact C!
The CAP-Hepatitis C Get Involved provides tools to:
- increase public awareness of hepatitis C
- inform policy makers about current hepatitis C issues
- keep abreast of evolving issues in the hepatitis C community
Together, we can change the course of Hepatitis C.