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Hepatitis News

July 2006

Transition Therapeutics Inc. Announces 12-Week Data from HCV-I.E.T. Phase I/II Clinical Trial Announces 12-week data from an open label, multi-centre Phase I/II clinical trial evaluating the interferon enhancing product, HCV-I.E.T., in hepatitis C non-responders.
“Transition Therapeutics, Inc., announces 12-week data from an open label, multi-centre Phase I/II clinical trial evaluating the interferon enhancing product, HCV-I.E.T., in hepatitis C non-responders.”
Effect of Tattooing, Body Piercing and Intranasal Drug Use on Risk of HCV and HBV Infection
“In recent years, there has been growing concern among medical professionals and hepatitis B and C community service providers that certain cosmetic procedures, including tattooing and body piercing -- as well as intranasal drug use -- might be associated with an increased risk for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.”

Beliefs about Disease Severity and Lifestyle Changes among Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C
“It is important that individuals with hepatitis C received accurate information about their disease, so that they may have realistic expectations about outcomes and make appropriate lifestyle changes.”

Major step in fight on hepatitis C
“New research by a Canberra-based academic could help find a more effective treatment for hepatitis C, which infects more than 10,000 Australians a year.” 

VIHA targets $1.5 million to halve HIV/AIDS, Hep C
“The Vancouver Island Health Authority will distribute $1.5 million to HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C community programs to reduce infection rates by 50 per cent in the next three years.”  

High Body Mass Index and Hepatitis C Are Risk Factors for Posttransplant Diabetes: Presented at WTC
“Patients who are overweight or who have impaired fasting glucose or positive hepatitis C serology before renal transplantation are at high risk of developing new-onset diabetes mellitus, a multicenter observational study suggests.” 

Ontario will still spend millions on Hep C victims
“Ontario has no plans to eliminate its $109-million fund for people with hepatitis C, despite Tuesday's nnouncement of a new federal compensation plan for victims of tainted blood transfusions.” 

McGuinty Government Commends Federal Hepatitis C Funding
“The Ontario government congratulates the federal government on its new compensation plan for people who contracted hepatitis C through tainted blood prior to 1986 and post 1990, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman said today.” 

Treatment for Hepatitis C Less Than Half as Likely if You Have No Insurance
“Decision Resources, Inc., a research and advisory firm for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that patients without insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare are less than half as likely as patients with private insurance to undergo treatment for hepatitis C.”

Hepatitis C virus enzyme sites revealed
“U.S. researchers say the crystal structure of one of the hepatitis C viral proteins might offer new opportunities for antiviral drug design.” 

AVI BioPharma Announces Hepatitis C Virus Clinical Study Modification
“BioPharma, Inc.announced today that it has entered patients to fill two new cohorts to extend the duration of treatment with AVI-4065 in its hepatitis C virus (HCV) clinical trial.”

Low CD4 cell count and hepatitis C coinfection risk factors for acute kidney failure in HIV-infected patients
“HIV-positive individuals who are receiving treatment with potent antiretroviral therapy have an increased risk of experiencing acute kidney failure if they have a low CD4 cell count, US investigators report in the July edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.”

Hepatitis C ad blitz raises ethical qualms
Some doctors and advocates see a strong profit motive behind an advertising campaign by drugmaker
“As the head of liver transplantation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Victor J. Navarro has seen many ailing patients with hepatitis C. But they don't look like the man in a half-page, color newspaper ad with a battered and bruised face, his eyes glassy.” 

Hepatitis C testing urged
“Each year, roughly 10,000 people die from cancer, liver failure and other complications of the hepatitis C virus. It is the nation's most common chronic blood-borne infection; about three times as many people are carrying the hepatitis C virus as are infected with HIV.”

Cholesterol drugs may treat hepatitis C - study
“Cholesterol drugs called statins may help treat hepatitis C infections, Japanese researchers reported on Friday.  Tests in lab dishes suggest that some statin drugs may help stop the hepatitis C virus from replicating, they wrote in the journal Hepatology, published by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.” 

Sexual dysfunction common for men with hepatitis C
“Men chronically infected with hepatitis C virus often suffer from sexual dysfunction, and it seems to have nothing to do with their age or with underlying depression, new study results suggest.” 

85% of rural Chinese HIV-positives also have hepatitis C
“Rural Chinese villagers with HIV have high rates of undetected hepatitis C (HCV) infection, and are potentially compromising treatment with antiretroviral drugs, according to a study published in the journal AIDS last month.” 

Jury indicts hepatitis C inmate for assault after spitting on guards
“A female prison inmate with hepatitis C has been indicted for assault after spitting blood on guards.”

Innogenetics reports preclinical data on prophylactic hepatitis C vaccine and identification of neutralizing HCV antibodies with unique features
“Innogenetics today announced preclinical data from its collaboration with the NIH (National Institutes of Health – USA) in the field of hepatitis C. Results confirmed that the current prophylactic candidate vaccine had limited efficacy in the animal model used.”

Treating hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation“A new study on recurring hepatitis C in patients who underwent a liver transplant found that better results were achieved when using a combination of pegylated interferon (a longer-acting form of the drug) and the antiviral drug ribavirin than standard interferon and ribavirin. In addition, failure to respond to the therapy early on was useful in predicting whether it would ultimately succeed.”


Clinical Trials, Cohort Studies, and Pilot Studies

Treatment effects and predictors of a 24-week course of interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin combination therapy for patients with chronic hepatitis C.  Tomimatsu M, et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Jul;21(7):1177-1183. 

Distribution of HCV Genotypes in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease According to Type of Dialysis Treatment.  Selcuk H, et al. Dig Dis Sci. 2006 Jul 26; [Epub ahead of print]

Immunogenicity of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine in treatment-naive and treatment-experienced chronic hepatitis C patients: The effect of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin treatment. Elefsiniotis IS, et al. World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul 21;12(27):4420-4. 

Sustained virological response to peginterferon plus ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 patients is associated with a persistent Th1 immune response.  Trapero-Marugan M, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Jul 1;24(1):117-28. 

Re-treatment of chronic hepatitis C patients after relapse: efficacy of peginterferon-alpha-2a (40 kDa) and ribavirin. 
Berg C, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2006 Jul;13(7):435-40. 

Baseline immune activation as a risk factor for the onset of depression during interferon-alpha treatment.
Wichers MC, et al.  Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Jul 1;60(1):77-9. Epub 2006 Feb 17. 

Pegylated-interferon alpha 2a treatment for chronic hepatitis C in patients on chronic haemodialysis.
Sporea I, et al.  World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul 14;12(26):4191-4. 

Anonymous pilot study of hepatitis C virus prevalence in liver transplant surgeons.  
Thorburn D, et al. Liver Transpl. 2006 Jul;12(7):1084-8. 

Health benefits of antiviral therapy for mild chronic hepatitis C: randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation. 
Wright M, et al. Health Technol Assess. 2006 Jul;10(21):1-130. 


Basic and Applied Science, Pre-Clinical Studies

HCV proteins increase expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and decrease expression of Bach1 in human hepatoma cells. Ghaziani T, et al. J Hepatol. 2006 Jul;45(1):5-12. Epub 2006 Feb 3

Early impairment of hepatitis C virus specific T cell proliferation during acute infection leads to failure of viral clearance. Folgori A, et al. Gut. 2006 Jul;55(7):1012-9. Epub 2006 Feb 16. 

Induction of antigen-specific immune responses in vivo after vaccination with dendritic cells transduced with adenoviral vectors encoding hepatitis C virus NS3.  Xiang M, et al. Viral Immunol. 2006 Summer;19(2):210-9. 

Clinical and therapeutic implications of hepatitis C virus compartmentalization.
Di Liberto G, et al. Gastroenterology. 2006 Jul;131(1):76-84. 

Human liver sinusoidal endothelial cells induce apoptosis in activated T cells: a role in tolerance induction.
Karrar A, et al. Gut. 2006 Jul 13; [Epub ahead of print] 

Serine palmitoyltransferase inhibitor suppresses HCV replication in a mouse model.
Umehara T, et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Jul 21;346(1):67-73. Epub 2006 May 24. 

Benzimidazole Derivatives Bearing Substituted Biphenyls as Hepatitis C Virus NS5B RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase Inhibitors: Structure-Activity Relationship Studies and Identification of a Potent and Highly Selective Inhibitor JTK-109.
Hirashima S, et al. J Med Chem. 2006 Jul 27;49(15):4721-36. 

Differential antigenic hierarchy associated with spontaneous recovery from hepatitis C virus infection: implications for vaccine design.  Smyk-Pearson S, et al. J Infect Dis. 2006 Aug 15;194(4):454-63. Epub 2006 Jul 12. 


HIV/HCV Coinfection

Changes in hepatitis C virus (HCV) viral load and interferon-alpha levels in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy.  Bower WA, et al.  J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Jul;42(3):293-7. 

Pegylated interferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in HIV-coinfected patients.  
Voigt E, et al. J Infect. 2006 Jul;53(1):36-42. Epub 2005 Nov 2. 

GB Virus C (GBV-C) Infection in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)/HIV-Coinfected Patients Receiving HCV Treatment: Importance of the GBV-C Genotype.
Schwarze-Zander C, et al. J Infect Dis. 2006 Aug 15;194(4):410-9. Epub 2006 Jul 12. 

Incidence of and risk factors for severe hepatotoxicity of nelfinavir-containing regimens among HIV-infected patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Mira JA, et al. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006 Jul;58(1):140-6. Epub 2006 May 23. 

Viral kinetics and early prediction of nonresponse to peg-IFN-alpha-2b plus ribavirin in HCV genotypes 1/4 according to HIV serostatus*.  Moreno A, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2006 Jul;13(7):466-73. 

Immunosuppression, hepatitis C infection, and acute renal failure in HIV-infected patients.  Franceschini N, et al. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Jul;42(3):368-72. 


Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial of a Chinese herbal therapy (CH100) in chronic hepatitis C.   Mollison L, et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Jul;21(7):1184-8. 



Assessment of liver fibrosis by a noninvasive method of transient elastography and biochemical markers.
Kawamoto M, et al. World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul 21;12(27):4325-30. 

The Case of Scott Ortiz: A clash between criminal justice and public health.  Venters HD, et al. Harm Reduct J. 2006 Jul 24;3(1):21 [Epub ahead of print].

The Impact of Chronic Hepatitis C and Comorbid Psychiatric Illnesses on Health-related Quality of Life.
Lim JK, et al. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2006 Jul;40(6):528-534. 

Patients' experiences related to anti-viral treatment for hepatitis C.  Fraenkel L, et al. Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Jul;62(1):148-55. Epub 2005 Aug 10. 

Lifestyle changes and beliefs regarding disease severity in patients with chronic hepatitis C.  Castera L, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2006 Jul;13(7):482-8.   


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Hepatitis C is the most common, chronic blood-borne
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