Heavy Drinking Takes Excessive Toll on Women with
"Women tend to survive longer than men if infected
with the liver-destroying hepatitis C virus (HCV) - but if they drink
heavily, that survival advantage completely disappears, according to a new
study. Previous studies indicated that alcohol use is a risk factor for
HCV disease progression, but they seldom examined the effect on women and
men separately," said lead author Chiung Chen. "Even fewer
studies were able to examine the effect of alcohol on HCV mortality. Our
study provides empirical evidence to fill the gap." Chen is a
research analyst at CSR Incorporated, which conducted the study under
contract with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
AstraZeneca Acquires Arrow Therapeutics To Broaden
"AstraZeneca today announced an agreement to acquire
Arrow Therapeutics Ltd., a privately owned UK biotechnology company,
focused on the discovery and development of anti-viral therapies. The
total share capital of Arrow Therapeutics will be purchased for US$150m
cash, subject to debt and working capital adjustment."
The American Liver Foundation Warns of an Increase in U.S.
Liver Cancer Deaths
"Deaths from liver cancer increased over the past
year in both men and women, reported the American Liver Foundation, a
national nonprofit organization that provides education, advocacy and
research on behalf of the 30 million Americans affected by liver disease.
This is despite recent news focusing on the overall decline in the number
of deaths due to most cancers."
Copegus Approved in Japan as Combination Therapy With
Pegasys for Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C
"Roche and Chugai announced today that the
combination of Copegus (ribavirin) plus Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a
(40KD)) has been approved in Japan following fast track review by the
Japanese regulatory agency (MHLW). This is good news for Japanese
hepatitis C patients, who now have access to the world's gold standard
treatment for the disease."
Patent Issued for Compounds With Potential to Treat BVDV
"Immtech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that
The United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has
issued a patent to Immtech's Scientific Consortium related to a compound
that may be useful for treating bovine viral diarrhea virus and the
hepatitis C virus. The patent, entitled "Compounds, methods and
compositions useful for the treatment of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)
infection and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection," was issued on
January 16, 2007."
China Probes Product Over Hepatitis C Fears
"China's food and drug officials are investigating a
company suspected of using illegally procured blood stocks to make
immunoglobulin and other drugs, infecting patients with hepatitis C.
Guangdong Bioyee Pharmaceutical "acted illegally in the production of
immunoglobulin and some products had caused hepatitis C infections in
patients," the State Food and Drug Administration said in a statement
posted on its website. The case is the latest in a series of reports of
substandard, bogus or tainted pharmaceuticals that have prompted calls for
stricter enforcement of safety standards."
Antipodean Pharmaceuticals Initiates Phase 2 Trial in
Hepatitis C : Potential Additional Treatment Strategy to Reduce Liver
Damage in Chronic Patients
"Antipodean Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced it
has initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial of its lead compound MitoQ (mitoquinone)
to investigate the drug's efficacy to reduce liver damage in patients with
raised liver enzymes associated with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The
principal investigator for the trial, Dr. Edward Gane, Associate Professor
of Medicine, New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit at Auckland City Hospital,
enrolled the first patient.
"Although new antiviral agents are in development,
therapies are needed to reduce liver injury in patients with chronic
hepatitis and to reduce inflammation and fibrosis," said Dr. Gane."
ZymoGenetics Begins Clinical Trial for PEG-Interferon
lambda as Potential Treatment for Viral Infection
"ZymoGenetics, Inc.today announced that the company
has initiated a Phase 1 safety and pharmacokinetic study of PEG-Interferon
lambda (IL-29) in healthy volunteers. The Phase 1 study is part of a
clinical development program
designed to evaluate PEG-Interferon lambda as a potential
treatment for patients with hepatitis C and other viral diseases."
OctoPlus Initiates Hepatitis C Study - Biopharmaceutical
firm OctoPlus has reported the commencement of a phase IIa study with
Locteron, its controlled release formulation of alfa interferon for the
treatment of hepatitis C.
"OctoPlus believes that Locteron has the potential to
induce fewer side effects, improve patient compliance and provide a more
convenient once every two weeks dosing schedule compared with current
therapies. Locteron combines OctoPlus' PolyActive drug delivery technology
with BLX-883, a recombinant alfa interferon produced by OctoPlus'
co-development partner Biolex Therapeutics. Results from the phase I study
showed that Locteron is both safe and successful in producing a gradual
release over two weeks of alfa interferon after a single injection."
Arrow Therapeutics Selects a Further Hepatitis C Clinical
"Arrow Therapeutics, the London based antiviral drug
discovery and development company, has announced that a further Hepatitis
C compound, A-689, has entered full preclinical development. A-689 is the
second compound from Arrow's broad approach to the NS5a target to enter
development. November 2006 saw Arrow's first Hepatitis C compound, A-831,
enter Phase I trials. Both compounds target the novel NS5a protein but
have completely different chemical structures and bind to the target at
Presidio Pharmaceuticals Receives Exclusive License to
Novel Hepatitis C Technology
"Presidio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that
it has licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to novel hepatitis C virus
(HCV) technology from Stanford University. This technology, invented in
the lab of Stanford scientist Jeffrey Glenn, targets a specific region
found in the HCV proteins NS4B and NS5A, viral proteins that are
absolutely required for virus replication. Disrupting the normal function
of these two proteins provides for a new method of HCV treatment and
should combat the emergence of drug resistance to new HCV polymerase and
protease inhibitors that will be on the market in the near future."
Nabi Biopharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Civacir
Phase II 'Proof-of- Concept' Clinical Trial
"Nabi Biopharmaceuticals announced today that it has
initiated its Phase II "proof-of-concept" clinical trial for
Civacir(R) [Hepatitis C Immune Globulin (Human)]. Civacir, the company's
plasma-derived, polyclonal antibody product candidate, when approved,
would be the first therapy for the prevention of the recurrence of
hepatitis C-related liver disease in hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive
liver transplant recipients, or in patients who received an HCV-positive
liver. Currently, there are no marketed therapies specifically indicated
for prevention of re-infection post-liver transplant in HCV-positive
Roche Diagnostics Submits Hepatitis C Viral Load
Monitoring Test To FDA
"Roche Diagnostics announced today that it has
submitted its automated test for Hepatitis C viral load monitoring to the
U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for review. The FDA will review
the application to determine whether the test can be marketed for
diagnostic use in the United States."
Kennewick Man Shares Life Experience
"Years of drug and alcohol abuse combined with
homemade tattoos made one Kennewick man very ill.
38-year-old Philip Swanson was diagnosed with liver
disease and hepatitis C three years ago. Doctors told him that he
would not live more than a year and a half. Swanson changed his diet
and lifestyle and today he is still alive."
Relapse of HCV Common in HIV/HCV Coinfected Patients after
"Every HIV/hepatitis C-coinfected patient who
survived liver transplant at a hospital in Barcelona experienced a
recurrence of hepatitis C, and only one patient had a virological response
to the subsequent use of anti-hepatitis C therapy, according to a study
published in Antiviral Therapy. The authors note, however, that all
the surviving patients were engaged in their normal daily activities two
years after liver transplantation and that anti-HIV therapy was safely and
effectively reintroduced within weeks."
OraSure Sees Trials of Oral Hepatitis C Test Ending This
"OraSure Technologies Inc.'s chief executive said
Thursday he expects clinical trials of a rapid oral test for the detection
of hepatitis C to be completed by the end of this year. Once the trials of
the test - being jointly developed by OraSure and Schering-Plough Corp.
- are completed, the company will apply for marketing approval in the
United States and in Europe soon thereafter, CEO Douglas Michels said in
Incidence of Steatosis in Hepatitis Patients Traced to
"White hepatitis C patients are more likely to have a
complication known as steatosis than black patients, says a new study.
Hepatic steatosis, or fat in the liver, is a condition common among people
with the hepatitis C virus. It indicates more advanced disease. In a study
published in the January issue of Hepatology, researchers, led by
Hari Conjeevaram of the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of
Michigan at Ann Arbor, set out to investigate racial differences in
steatosis in people with the hepatitis C virus, genotype I."
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