Hepatitis C Challenge: Caring Ambassadors Hep C Program
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Hepatitis News:

January 2007

Two U.K. Scientists Develop Cheaper Drug To Treat Hepatitis C

"Following trials by two U.K. scientists, the treatment for hepatitis C is likely to get cheaper as early as this year in India and other developing countries. The trials for a new drug called PEGylated-interferon alpha molecule is undertaken by Dr. Sunil Shaunak, professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College based at Hammersmith hospital, with scientists from the London School of Pharmacy."

Pakistani Doctor to be Honoured for Research on Hepatitis C Treatment and Its Outcomes

"Saima Firdoos, a young Pakistani doctor of Shifa International Hospital will be honoured for a clinical research about Hepatitis C treatment and its outcomes in the form of five scientific papers to be presented in Kyoto, Japan on March 27-30, 2007 in Asia Pacific Association Study of Liver Diseases."

Caregiving: Lawford Says Get Tested

"Actor and author Christopher Kennedy Lawford wants people to know -- especially his fellow baby boomers -- that they may be at risk for hepatitis C virus, or HCV, even if they've only had a few snorts of cocaine. "If you fall in any of the major risk factors -- illegal drug use, blood transfusion(s) before 1992, 10 or more sexual partners, dialysis or have had a tattoo -- you should get tested for hepatitis C because you are not going to know by the way you feel," Lawford told UPI's Caregiving."

Racial Differences Seen in Steatosis in Patients with Hepatitis C

"Caucasian patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) are more likely to have hepatic steatosis, or fat in the liver, compared to African-American patients. However, steatosis is not associated with HCV treatment response. These findings are published in the January 2007 issue of Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD)."

Hep C Advocate Continued Fight

[Canada] "The year 2006 is almost gone, and Ernie Zivny is still waiting for the federal government to give him the money that would make his life much easier. He was a happy man July 25 when the government announced it would provide compensation for people who contracted Hepatitis C through tainted blood before 1986 and after 1990."

Awareness and Testing For Hepatitis C Are Increasing, UK

"A new report from the Health Protection Agency shows that the number of people newly diagnosed with hepatitis C has increased; from 2,116 in 1996, to 7,580 in 2005. New figures also show that testing for hepatitis C has increased overall, for example, in GP surgeries', testing has increased by almost 60 per cent between 2002 and 2005."

Doctors Have Communicated Hepatitis C Virus to 88 Patients

[Turkey] "It was revealed that 88 patients were communicated with Hepatitis C virus in a private dialysis center in Diyarbakir. Center's chief physician Uğur Yüce has put up the argument that one of the four newly established dialysis centers has sabotaged their hospital. It was revealed that 88 out of 213 patients suffering from kidney failure have caught Hepatitis C virus."

Hepatitis Tests 'Like Witch Hunt'

"A former member of the General Dental Council has likened the handling of the case of a dentist from Gwynedd infected with hepatitis C to a "witch hunt". The health authorities wrote to 5,000 patients offering them various tests after the man was diagnosed with the disease, which over 1,000 accepted."

No HIV, Hepatitis for Tested Students

"Students who shared needles during a science experiment last month at John F. Kennedy Middle School all tested negative for signs of HIV and hepatitis B and C, according to the San Mateo County Health Department. A substitute teacher was fired Nov. 17 after he pricked students in Life Science classes with lancets during a science experiment. The teacher, whose name was not released by the district, was doing an experiment with his classes to look at students' blood cells under a microscope."

Intercell Gains on Completion of Hep C Trial, Pelias Acquisition

"Shares in Austrian pharma group Intercell AG continued their upward march gaining 1.43 pct to 17.75 eur by the early afternoon, after the company today reported the completion of a Phase II trial for its therapeutic Hepatitis C vaccine. 'We are well on track with the development of our therapeutic vaccine. It was key to demonstrate that IC41 can be safely administered together with standard therapy, thus enabling the way to potential future combination therapies', said chief scientific officer Alexander von Gabain in a statement."

Medical Services International Completes Testing of VScan Hepatitis C Test Kit in the United States

"Medical Services International Inc is pleased to announce that it has completed testing of its VScan Hepatitis C test kit in the United States. The test results shows that the VScan Hepatitis C test kit met or exceeded required regulatory standards in the United States. In early 2007, the Company will begin the process to apply for regulatory approval in the United States."

Feds Complete $1B Deal for Hep C Victims

[Canada] "The federal government has announced completion of a $1-billion compensation deal for the so-called "forgotten" victims of hepatitis C tainted blood scandal. The deal, announced today by Health Minister Tony Clement, must still be approved by courts in several provinces. The deal will provide one-time payments for thousands of people infected with the hepatitis C virus through tainted blood before 1986 or after 1990."

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Announced Results of Safety Analysis on Hepatitis C Inhibitor; Stock Was Slightly Down

"Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Wednesday announced results from a planned interim safety analysis from PROVE 1, which an ongoing Phase 2b clinical trial of the investigational hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor telaprevir or VX-950. PROVE 1 was a four-arm, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2b clinical trial of telaprevir in treatment-naive patients with genotype 1 HCV infection. The company said it enrolled 250 patients for the PROVE 1 study, who received Peg-interferon alfa-2a + ribavirin and a dose of telaprevir or placebo."

Pevion Biotech Announces Its Hepatitis C Vaccine Enters Clinical Phase I

"Pevion Biotech announced the start of phase I clinical testing of its virosome-based hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine. The therapeutic HCV vaccine is based on Pevion Biotech`s proprietary PeviPROTM and PeviTERTM technologies and will be tested for its safety and immunogenicity."

Coinfection with Both HIV and Hepatitis C Virus a Growing Problem

"Although many individuals infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are naturally able to control levels of the virus with their immune systems, those who also become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, may lose that ability. In a report in the December issue of PLOS Medicine, a group of researchers from the Partners AIDS Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (PARC-MGH) report one of the first studies of how HIV infection impacts immune system functions involved with HCV control. Their findings suggest that beginning antiretroviral therapy earlier than is generally recommended may help preserve HCV control in patients infected with both viruses."

Hepatitis in China: Liver Let Die?

"With one third of CHB patients and one quarter of CHC patients globally, hepatitis is a major health problem in China, and the market has received considerable attention from Western pharmaceutical companies aiming to capitalize on the country's recent economic boom."

HGS Initiates First Trial in Hepatitis C Program

"The Albuferon phase III development program includes two trials to evaluate the efficacy, safety and impact on health-related quality of life of Albuferon in combination with ribavirin, versus peginterferon alfa-2a in combination with ribavirin."

clinical trials, cohort studies, and pilot studies

Hepatitis C and Risk of Lymphoma: Results of the European Multicenter Case-Control Study EPILYMPH Nieters A, et al. Gastroenterology. 2006 Dec;131(6):1879-86. Epub 2006 Sep 20.

Impact of Ribavirin Dose Reductions in Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1 Patients Completing Peginterferon Alfa-2a/Ribavirin Treatment. Reddy KR, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Dec 27; [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of peginterferon alpha-2b and ribavirin treatment on liver tissue in patients with HCV or HCV-HIV co-infection. Sarmento-Castro R, et al. J Infect. 2006 Dec 26; [Epub ahead of print]

Relationship between the severity of hepatitis C virus-related liver disease and the presence of Helicobacter species in the liver: A prospective study. Castera L, et al. World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Dec 7;12(45):7278-84.

Reliability and validity of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory (Full and FastScreen scales) in detecting depression in persons with hepatitis C.

Golden J, Conroy RM, O'dwyer AM. J Affect Disord. 2006 Dec 5; [Epub ahead of print]

Predicting sustained virological response and anaemia in chronic hepatitis C patients treated with peginterferon alfa-2a (40KD) plus ribavirin. Snoeck E, et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2006 Dec;62(6):699-709.

Peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin for treatment of chronic hepatitis C with severe fibrosis: a multicentre randomized controlled trial comparing two doses of peginterferon alpha-2b. Abergel A, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2006 Dec;13(12):811-20.

A 24-week course of high-dose interferon-alpha plus ribavirin for Taiwanese chronic hepatitis C patients with persistently normal or near-normal alanine aminotransferase levels. Yu ML, et al. Liver Int. 2006 Dec;26(10):1187-95

Fibrosis in genotype 3 chronic hepatitis C and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Role of insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. Bugianesi E, et al. Hepatology. 2006 Dec;44(6):1648-55.

Impact of disease severity on outcome of antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C: Lessons from the HALT-C trial. Everson GT, et al. Hepatology. 2006 Dec;44(6):1675-84.

basic and applied science, pre-clinical studies

Hepatitis C virus infects T cells and affects interferon-gamma signaling in T cell lines. Kondo Y, et al. Virology. 2006 Dec 15; [Epub ahead of print]

Hsp90 inhibitors suppress HCV replication in replicon cells and humanized liver mice. Nakagawa SI, et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Dec 22; [Epub ahead of print]

Serum procalcitonin levels in chronic hepatitis C patients under pegylated interferon-alpha plus ribavirin treatment. Elefsiniotis IS, et al. J Clin Virol. 2006 Dec;37(4):329-31. Epub 2006 Sep 25.

Intrahepatic virus-specific IL-10-producing CD8 T cells prevent liver damage during chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Abel M, et al. Hepatology. 2006 Dec;44(6):1607-16.

Evidence of a Genetic Basis for the Different Geographic Occurrences of Liver/Kidney Microsomal Antibody Type 1 in Hepatitis C. Muratori P, et al. Dig Dis Sci. 2006 Dec 8; [Epub ahead of print]

Identification of novel hepatitis C virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte epiotpe in NS3 region.

Ito K, et al. Hepatol Res. 2006 Dec;36(4):294-300. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Changes of soluble CD26 and CD30 levels correlate with response to interferon plus ribavirin therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Yang SS, et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Dec;21(12):1789-93

Expression profiling of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from patients with chronic hepatitis C undergoing interferon therapy. Tateno M, et al. J Infect Dis. 2007 Jan 15;195(2):255-67. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

Equal amounts of intracellular and virion-enclosed hepatitis C virus RNA are associated with peripheral-blood mononuclear cells in vivo. Kaiser P, et al. J Infect Dis. 2006 Dec 15;194(12):1713-23. Epub 2006 Nov 13

hiv/hcv co-infection

[Early detection of hepatitis C virus infection using a new combined antigen-antibody detection assay: potential use in HIV co-infected individuals] [Article in French] Schnuriger A, et al. Pathol Biol (Paris). 2006 Dec;54(10):578-86. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Substance abuse treatment and receipt of liver specialty care among persons coinfected with HIV/HCV who have alcohol problems. Palepu A, et al. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Dec;31(4):411-7. Epub 2006 Aug 14.

Mortality in Siblings of Patients Coinfected with HIV and Hepatitis C Virus. Hansen AB, et al. J Infect Dis. 2007 Jan 15;195(2):230-5. Epub 2006 Dec 11

A novel anticancer agent ARC antagonizes HIV-1 and HCV. Nekhai S, et al. Oncogene. 2006 Dec 18; [Epub ahead of print]

complimentary and alternative therapies

Development of a tomato-based food for special medical purposes as therapy adjuvant for patients with HCV infection. Vitaglione P, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006 Dec 20; [Epub ahead of print]


Non-injection drug use and Hepatitis C Virus: A systematic review. Scheinmann R, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2006 Dec 14; [Epub ahead of print]

euHCVdb: the European hepatitis C virus database. Combet C, et al. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006 Dec 5; [Epub ahead of print]

New therapeutic options for hepatitis C. Waters L, Nelson M. Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2006 Dec;19(6):615-22

Illness-related stigma, mood and adjustment to illness in persons with hepatitis C. Golden J, et al. Soc Sci Med. 2006 Dec;63(12):3188-98. Epub 2006 Sep 28.

Evaluation of the Abbott RealTime HCV assay for quantitative detection of hepatitis C virus RNA. Michelin BD, et al. J Clin Virol. 2006 Dec 19; [Epub ahead of print]

Monitoring HCV RNA viral load by locked nucleic acid molecular beacons real time PCR.

Morandi L, et al. J Virol Methods. 2006 Dec 14; [Epub ahead of print]

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