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Hepatitis News:

February 2006

  Vertex Takes The Lead In Hepatitis C Race
"Credit Suisse First Boston raised the price target on Vertex Pharmaceuticals after the drug discovery company reported fourth-quarter results and announced solid clinical data for VX-950, an experimental hepatitis C treatment. The analyst lifted the price target on the "outperform"-rated stock to $44 from $35."

Study of Hepatitis C Virus Solves Mystery That Has Stymied Quest for Cure
". Now, in a landmark study by Florida State University biologists that could bolster the development of anti-viral therapies for HCV -- as well as for related RNA viruses such as West Nile and influenza -- Assistant Professor Hengli Tang and doctoral student/co-author Heather B. Nelson have discovered the molecular mechanism that inhibits HCV replication in vitro after its host cells become crowded and stopped dividing."

ViRexx Presents Hepatitis C Chimigen'TM' Technology at Baculovirus & Insect Cell Culture Annual Meeting
"ViRexx Medical Corp. a company focused on immunotherapy treatments for certain cancers, chronic hepatitis B & C and embolotherapy treatments for tumors, today announced that Rajan George, Ph.D., Vice President Research and Development of ViRexx, made a presentation about the Company's Chimigen(TM) technology for hepatitis C at the 9th Annual Meeting of the Baculovirus & Insect Cell Culture held on February 20-22, 2006 in San Francisco."

Hepatitis C Could Infect 800,000 Australians By 2020
"It has been proposed by the federal Government to distribute subsidized life-saving hepatitis C drugs, that would benefit nearly 200,000 hepatitis C infected patients in Australia. A small percentage of the infected individuals (2000) currently receive treatment for their condition. If appropriate steps are not instituted at the earliest, Australia might soon witness a rapid rise in the cases of liver cirrhosis and cancer."

Suit Says Bone Marrow Caused Her Hepatitis C: A Northeast Philadelphia Woman Says Tissue She Got from a Biomedical Firm Gave Her the Disease
"In 2003, 42-year-old Darlene Krzywicki was in tremendous pain, often having to crawl to get around. After exhausting every other method to relieve her of her back pain, the Northeast Philadelphia resident underwent lumbar spine surgery in January 2004 at Holy Redeemer Hospital in Meadowbrook, Montgomery County."

Peregrine Pharmaceutical Will Deliver Hepatitis C Phase I Safety Data at 2nd Annual Viral and Hepatitis Drug and Development Conference
"Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of innovative, clinical stage product candidates for viral diseases and cancer, today announced that it has completed planned patient enrollment and dosing in its initial Phase l clinical trial for Tarvacin(TM) Anti-Viral in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection (HCV)."

Cases of Hepatitis-C on the Rise in Nangarhar
"According to doctors number of the Hepatitis-C cases have shown twofold increase in the eastern Nangarhar province as compared with the last year."

Researchers Develop New Vaccine Candidate Against Hepatitis C
"Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan's Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) say they have developed a vaccine candidate for hepatitis C."

Boca's Nabi Gets "Fast Track" for Hepatitis C Drug
"Boca Raton-based Nabi Pharmaceuticals has received approval to move its new Civacir product candidate into a 'fast track' status."

Prison Hepatitis C Infections a Time Bomb for All
"There's a hidden danger lurking in Australia's prisons waiting for the chance to break out - and we're not talking about unreformed prisoners. The hepatitis C virus is incubating in our prisons at alarming rates, and poses a major health risk to all of us."

New Hope for Hepatitis C Patients
"Hope may be at hand for the large and growing group of difficult to treat Hepatitis C patients who could not initially be cured, said speakers at the fifth International Congress of the African - Middle East Association of Gastroenterology (AMAGE), held in Sharjah."

Inovio to Develop Vaccine for Hepatitis C Virus
"Inovio Biomedical Corp., a biotechnology company, has signed an agreement with Sweden-based Tripep AB to develop a therapeutic vaccine for hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C virus is a major cause of chronic liver disease worldwide."

Waffle House to Pay Ex-Cook $50K; Lawsuit said Jackson Restaurant Fired Employee because of Hepatitis C
"Waffle House owners have agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a lawsuit stemming from the 2004 firing of a cook at a Jackson location. The restaurant was accused of unlawful employment policies and practices, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it fired the unnamed cook."

Clinical Trials, Cohort Studies, Pilot Studies

High rate of spontaneous negativity for hepatitis C virus RNA after establishment of chronic infection in alaska natives. Scott JD, et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Apr 1;42(7):945-52. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

Treatment of chronic hepatitis C patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels with the combination of peginterferon alpha-2a (40 kDa) plus ribavirin: Impact on health-related quality of life. Arora S, et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Feb;21(2):406-12.

Efficacy of natural BALL-1 interferon-alpha treatment for patients with chronic hepatitis C and a possible enhancing effect of a twice-daily starting regimen with interferon-beta. Ebinuma H, et al. Hepatogastroenterology. 2006 Jan-Feb;53(67):94-9.

Similarities and differences in outcomes of cirrhosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatitis C. Sanyal AJ, et al. Hepatology. 2006 Feb 24; [Epub ahead of print]

Prevalence and Clinical Significance of HGV/GBV-C Infection in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis B or C. Yang JF, et al. Jpn J Infect Dis. 2006 Feb;59(1):25-30.

Baseline Immune Activation as a Risk Factor for the Onset of Depression During Interferon-Alpha Treatment. Wichers MC, et al. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Feb 15; [Epub ahead of print]

Viral and metabolic factors influencing alanine aminotransferase activity in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Prati D, et al. J Hepatol. 2006 Jan 25; [Epub ahead of print]

Estimated progression rates in three United Kingdom hepatitis C cohorts differed according to method of recruitment. Sweeting MJ, et al. J Clin Epidemiol. 2006 Feb;59(2):144-52.

Treating chronic hepatitis C with pegylated interferon alfa-2a (40 KD) and ribavirin in clinical practice.
Lee SS, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Feb 1;23(3):397-408.

A randomized trial of 24- vs. 48-week courses of PEG interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin for genotype-1b-infected chronic hepatitis C patients: a pilot study in Taiwan. Yu ML, et al. Liver Int. 2006 Feb;26(1):73-81.

Probability of liver cancer and survival in HCV-related or alcoholic-decompensated cirrhosis. A study of 377 patients. Sola R, et al. Liver Int. 2006 Feb;26(1):62-72.

Treatment with daily consensus interferon (CIFN) plus ribavirin in non-responder patients with chronic hepatitis C: a randomized open-label pilot study. Cornberg M, et al. J Hepatol. 2006 Feb;44(2):291-301. Epub 2005 Nov 28

Dose-dependent and genotype-independent sustained virological response of a 12 week pegylated interferon alpha-2b treatment for acute hepatitis C. De Rosa FG, et al. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006 Feb;57(2):360-3. Epub 2006 Jan 5.

Comparison of characteristics of treated and non-treated patients with Hepatitis C infection.
Hare CB, et al. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2006 Feb;15(2):71-6.

Pilot study of interferon-alpha-ribavirin-interleukin-2 for treatment of nonresponder patients with severe liver disease infected by hepatitis C virus genotype 1. Alric L, J Viral Hepat. 2006 Feb;13(2):139-44.

Early monotherapy with pegylated interferon alpha-2b for acute hepatitis C infection: the HEP-NET acute-HCV-II study. Wiegand J, et al. Hepatology. 2006 Feb;43(2):250-6.

Thalidomide in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C unresponsive to alfa-interferon and ribavirin. Milazzo L et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;101(2):399-402.

Effects of fatty liver and related factors on the efficacy of combination antiviral therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Jian Wu Y, Shu Chen L, Gui Qiang W. Liver Int. 2006 Mar;26(2):166-72.

Long-term follow-up of chronic hepatitis C patients with sustained virological response to various forms of interferon-based anti-viral therapy. Formann E, Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Feb 15;23(4):507-11.

Treatment of chronic hepatitis C patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels with the combination of peginterferon alpha-2a (40 kDa) plus ribavirin: Impact on health-related quality of life.
Arora S, et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Feb;21(2):406-12.

Ethnic differences in the presentation of chronic hepatitis C. Lepe R, Layden-Almer JE, Layden TJ, Cotler S. J Viral Hepat. 2006 Feb;13(2):116-20

Assessment of liver fibrosis progression in patients with chronic hepatitis C and normal alanine aminotransferase values: The role of AST to the platelet ratio index. Fabris C, et al. Clin Biochem. 2006 Feb 16; [Epub ahead of print]

Natural history of compensated cirrhosis in the Child-Pugh class a compared between 490 patients with hepatitis C and 167 with B virus infections. Kobayashi M, et al. J Med Virol. 2006 Feb 15;78(4):459-465 [Epub ahead of print]

Treatment outcomes in a centralized specialty clinic for hepatitis C virus are comparable with those from clinical trials. Kaita KD, Wong S, Renner E, Minuk GY. Can J Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;20(2):87-90.

Worse quality of life in volunteer blood donors with hepatitis C. Teixeira MC, Ribeiro Mde F, Gayotto LC, Chamone Dde A, Strauss E. Transfusion. 2006 Feb;46(2):278-83.

Depression, anemia and health-related quality of life in chronic hepatitis C. Dan AA, et al. J Hepatol. 2006 Mar;44(3):491-8. Epub 2005 Dec 27.

Depression and cigarette smoking independently relate to reduced health-related quality of life among Canadians living with hepatitis C. Balfour L, et al. Can J Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;20(2):81-6.

Basic And Applied Science, Pre-Clinical Studies

The hepatitis C envelope 2 protein inhibits LFA-1-transduced protein kinase C signaling for T-lymphocyte migration. Volkov Y, et al. Gastroenterology. 2006 Feb;130(2):482-92.

Dominant influence of an HLA-B27 restricted CD8+ T cell response in mediating HCV clearance and evolution. Neumann-Haefelin C, et al. Hepatology. 2006 Feb 22;43(3):563-572 [Epub ahead of print]

The influence of T cell cross-reactivity on HCV-peptide specific human T cell response. Kennedy PT, et al. Hepatology. 2006 Feb 22;43(3):602-611 [Epub ahead of print]

SCH 503034, a Mechanism-Based Inhibitor of Hepatitis C Virus NS3 Protease, Suppresses Polyprotein Maturation and Enhances the Antiviral Activity of Alpha Interferon in Replicon Cells. Malcolm BA, et al. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006 Mar;50(3):1013-20.

Preclinical Profile of VX-950, a Potent, Selective, and Orally Bioavailable Inhibitor of Hepatitis C Virus NS3-4A Serine Protease. Perni RB, et al. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2006 Mar;50(3):899-909.

Accumulation of dysfunctional effector CD8+T cells in the liver of patients with chronic HCV infection.
Nisii C, et al.. J Hepatol. 2006 Mar;44(3):475-483. Epub 2005 Dec 5.

Vigorous hepatitis C virus-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses induced by protein immunization in the presence of Montanide ISA720 plus synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides containing immunostimulatory cytosine-guanine dinucleotide motifs. Sugauchi F, et al. J Infect Dis. 2006 Feb 15;193(4):563-72. Epub 2006 Jan 11.

Soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Ligand (sTRAIL) Levels and Kinetics During Antiviral Treatment in Chronic Hepatitis C. Pelli N, et al. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2006 Feb;26(2):119-23.

Activation of anti-hepatitis C virus responses via Toll-like receptor 7. Lee J, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Feb 7;103(6):1828-33. Epub 2006 Jan 30.

Foxp3+CD4+CD25+ T cells control virus-specific memory T cells in chimpanzees recovered from Hepatitis C. Manigold T, et al. Blood. 2006 Feb 14; [Epub ahead of print]

Correlation between translation efficiency and outcome of combination therapy in chronic hepatitis C genotype 3.Yasmeen A, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2006 Feb;13(2):87-95.

HIV/HCV Coinfection

Morbidity and mortality profile of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with and without hepatitis C co-infection. Mayor AM, et al. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2006 Feb;74(2):239-45.

Sexually transmitted acute infection with a clustered genotype 4 hepatitis C virus in HIV-1-infected men and inefficacy of early antiviral therapy. Serpaggi J, et al. AIDS. 2006 Jan 9;20(2):233-240.

Predictors of Liver Fibrosis in HIV-Infected Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection: Assessment Using Transient Elastometry and the Role of HCV Genotype 3. Barreiro P, et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Apr 1;42(7):1032-9. Epub 2006 Feb 21

Racial Difference in Mortality Among U.S. Veterans with HCV/HIV Coinfection. Merriman NA, et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb 22; [Epub ahead of print]

Liver Enzyme Elevation in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)-HIV-Coinfected Patients Prior to and after Initiating HAART: Role of HCV Genotypes. Maida I, et al. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2006 Feb;22(2):139-43.

Comparison of serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and core antigen levels in patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus and HCV and treated with interferon plus ribavirin. Pivert A, et al. J Clin Microbiol. 2006 Feb;44(2):417-22.

Diagnosis of Hepatic Fibrosis and Cirrhosis by Transient Elastography in HIV/Hepatitis C Virus-Coinfected Patients. de Ledinghen V, J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Feb 1;41(2):175-179.

Relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV) and insulin resistance, endothelial perturbation, and platelet activation in HIV-HCV-coinfected patients under highly active antiretroviral treatment.
de Larranaga GF, Wingeyer SD, Puga LM, Alonso BS, Benetucci JA. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2006 Feb;25(2):98-103.

Fibrosis progression in chronic hepatitis C patients with occult hepatitis B co-infection. Hui CK, et al. J Clin Virol. 2006 Feb;35(2):185-92. Epub 2005 Aug 15.

Complementary And Alternative Therapies

Polyphenols and gastrointestinal diseases. Dryden GW, Song M, McClain C. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2006 Mar;22(2):165-70.

Miscellaneous Works

Hepatitis C screening and treatment outcomes in patients with substance use/dependence disorders. Rifai MA, et al. Psychosomatics. 2006 Mar-Apr;47(2):112-21.

A novel recombinant multiepitope protein as a hepatitis C diagnostic intermediate of high sensitivity and specificity. Dipti CA, Jain SK, Navin K. Protein Expr Purif. 2006 Feb 6; [Epub ahead of print]

Stepwise combination algorithms of non-invasive markers to diagnose significant fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C. Sebastiani G, et al. J Hepatol. 2006 Feb 8; [Epub ahead of print]

Analysis of a hepatitis C screening programme for US veterans. Zuniga IA, et al. Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Apr;134(2):249-57.

Prisoners favour hepatitis C testing and treatment. Vallabhaneni S, et al. Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Apr;134(2):243-8.

HIV and HCV testing for young drug users in Rhode Island. Pugatch D, et al. J Adolesc Health. 2006 Mar;38(3):302-4.

Predictors of antiviral therapy in a post-transfusion cohort of hepatitis C patients. Witkos M, Yi Q, Heathcote J, Kapral MK, Krahn M. Can J Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;20(2):107-11.

Assessment of the economic value of the INTERCEPT blood system in Belgium. Moeremans K, et al. Transfus Med. 2006 Feb;16(1):17-30.

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Hepatitis C is the most common, chronic blood-borne
viral infection in the U.S.