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Hepatitis News:

October 2007

HCV, HBV slowing in injection drug users
“ Hepatitis C and hepatitis B are spreading more slowly among injection drug users in San Francisco and fewer say they share needles, a study found. Injection drug users are still at a very high risk of acquiring hepatitis C and hepatitis B; however, needle-sharing is less common, and users do not become infected as quickly as they did in the past, said Fan-Chen Tseng and Thomas R. O'Brien of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and Brian R. Edlin of Weill Cornell Medical College.”

Hepatitis C impacts breast cancer treatment
“Hepatitis C infection may impair breast cancer treatment and increase complications of chemotherapy, researchers found. In a small retrospective study of breast cancer patients with HCV infection, there were chemotherapy dose delays or reduction in 27% of neoadjuvant therapy and in 30% of adjuvant therapy, according to P.K. Morrow, M.D., of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues.”

Hep C sufferer Anita Roddick dies of brain haemorrhage
“The founder of Body Shop, Dame Anita Roddick, has died as a result of "a major brain haemorrhage" at the age of 64. She died at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester, West Sussex where here husband, Gordon, and daughters Sam and Justine were all with her.”

Closing arguments end in tainted blood trial
“A criminal trial linked to one of the biggest public health scandals in Canadian history wrapped up in a Toronto courtroom Monday. More than 20,000 Canadians contracted HIV or hepatitis C from tainted blood products administered during the 1980s and early 1990s.”

Medivir: Preclinical data presented on new hepatitis C protease inhibitor
“Tibotec and Medivir scientists will jointly present the first preclinical data on TMC435350 at the 14th International Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus and Related Viruses in Glasgow, Scotland later this week.”

N&N makes cancer breakthrough
“Thousands of cancer patients from across the world are set to benefit from pioneering new treatment being developed at the county's flagship hospital. Consultants at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have developed an innovative treatment which “cooks” tumours on the liver to ensure all cancerous tissues are destroyed and minimise the chances of the disease reoccurring.”

Pharmasset says hepatitis C drug meets trial goals
“Pharmasset has reported preliminary safety and potent antiviral activity with its investigational drug following 14 days of monotherapy in 40 patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus who had failed prior interferon therapy. The candidate, R7128, is a prodrug of PSI-6130, an oral cytidine nucleoside analog polymerase inhibitor of HCV that is being developed through Pharmasset's collaboration with Roche."

Woman to sue Peru Govt over HIV-infected blood
“A Peruvian mother of three children has announced she is suing the Peruvian Government after being infected with HIV at a state-run hospital. Judith Rivera, 44, is one of four people - including an 11-month-old infant - who may have been infected through HIV-tainted blood administered at the Daniel Carrion hospital in April. "I will not be dissuaded from this lawsuit for indemnity for life from the state, to which I am entitled," she told reporters.”

Idera Pharmaceuticals initiates phase 1 trial of IMO-2125 in hepatitis C
“Idera Pharmaceuticals today announced that the first patient has been dosed in a Phase 1 trial evaluating IMO-2125 for the treatment of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. IMO-2125 is a novel agonist of Toll-like Receptor (TLR) 9.”

XTL Biopharmaceuticals presents a new class of highly potent small molecule inhibitors of hepatitis C affecting the NS5A target at an international scientific conference
"Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. announced today that on September 13, 2007, it presented a new class of novel and highly potent small molecule inhibitors of hepatitis C affecting the NS5A target at the 14th International Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus & Related Viruses in Glasgow, Scotland.”

The University of Nottingham announces development of possible hepatitis C vaccine
“The British Midlands Development Corporation today announced that the University of Nottingham in the British Midlands has released a statement promoting the development of a possible Hepatitis C Vaccine.”

Roche puts hold development of hepatitis drug MAXY-alpha - US partner Maxygen
“Roche Holdings AG has put a hold on further clinical development of MAXY-alpha, a treatment for hepatitis C and B virus infections,the Swiss pharma giant's US partner Maxygen Inc said. During a phase I trial MAXY-alpha was shown to be less effective in the majority of patients who received two doses of the drug. Roche is currently assessing those results, Maxygen said in a statement.”

Apath gets federal grant for West Nile treatment, Hepatitis C tool
“Apath LLC, a drug-discovery startup based in Creve Coeur, said Friday that it received $2.2 million in federal grants to develop a treatment for West Nile virus and a hepatitis C research tool.”

Kaua‘i sees spike in hepatitis C cases
“With a surge of hepatitis C cases recently diagnosed on the Garden Island, Malama Pono Kaua‘i AIDS Project Executive Director D.Q. Jackson helped host an educational luncheon Friday afternoon at Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihu‘e.”

The other big C
“In 2004, Petra Wright, 52, from Bo'ness, was diagnosed with hepatitis C, the same disease Anita Roddick revealed she was suffering from last February. The virus is still surrounded by stigma, despite the fact that it can be contracted during a blood transfusion, as happened to Roddick.”

Confronting hepatitis C
“It is estimated to affect around 200,000 people in England and the late Anita Roddick had it, yet little is known about hepatitis C. CARON KEMP talks to a sufferer from Tottenham ahead of World Hepatitis Awareness Day on Monday.”

NM Hepatitis C program wins international competition
“Project ECHO, a Hepatitis C program developed by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and the state's Health and Corrections departments, won first place in an international competition designed to identify programs that change the way medicine is practiced. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation chose the New Mexico project out of 307 entrants from 27 countries.”

What baby boomers, seniors need to know about hepatitis C
“According to the Center for Disease Control, more than four million people in the United States have hepatitis C; that's more than five times as many people infected with HIV. And in article, Newsweek's senior medical editor Geoffrey Cowley wrote, "Now thousands of people are getting sick. By 2010, it may strike down more Americans each year than AIDS."”

Dynavax's HEPLISAV(TM) hepatitis B vaccine maintains full immunogenicity at 50 Weeks in phase 3 trial
“Dynavax Technologies Corporation announced today that the seroprotection of HEPLISAV at 50 weeks after the first vaccination remained at 100% while the seroprotection of the comparator, GlaxoSmithKline's Engerix-B(R); vaccine declined.”

Alcohol, diabetes, hepatitis up liver cancer risk
“ Heavy alcohol use, diabetes, and viral hepatitis combine synergistically to raise the risk of developing liver cancer, according to a new report. As lead investigator Dr. Jian-Min Yuan told, "Physicians should be aware of the increased risk of liver cancer for their patients who are obese and possess additional risk factors such as hepatitis virus infection and heavy alcohol consumption."”

European Union's CHMP issues positive opinion on PEGINTRON(TM) combination therapy for retreating hepatitis C patients who failed previous therapy
“ Schering-Plough Corporation today reported that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has issued a positive opinion recommending approval of combination therapy with PEGINTRON(TM) (peginterferon alfa-2b, 1.5 mcg/kg once weekly) and REBETOL(R) (ribavirin, 800 - 1,400 mg daily) for retreating adult patients with chronic hepatitis C whose previous treatment with interferon alpha (pegylated or non- pegylated) and ribavirin combination therapy or interferon alpha monotherapy did not result in a sustained response. Upon European Commission approval, PEGINTRON and REBETOL will be the only available hepatitis C therapy in the European Union (EU) indicated for retreatment of prior treatment failures.”

New insurance scheme for blood transfusion victims [Ireland]
“A new insurance scheme was launched today for people infected with Hepatitis C or HIV through contaminated blood products. The new scheme, first announced last year, will allow people to take out life insurance, mortgage protection and travel insurance. It is understood around 3,300 people have initiated claims against the state over the infection – ultimately the bill is expected to hit €1.1bn.”

ViroPharma's good bad news
“ViroPharma's presentation Tuesday at the UBS Global Life Sciences Conference was particularly interesting, in the wake of last month's disappointing and mixed news on its hepatitis C antiviral compound. The prospects for ViroPharma's HCV-796 darkened significantly after the company reported troubling clinical results.”

InterMune announces start of phase 1b trial of ITMN-191
“InterMune, Inc. announced that the company has begun dosing the first patients in their Phase 1b multiple ascending dose (MAD) clinical trial evaluating ITMN-191 (also called R7227) in patients with chronic hepatitis C. ITMN-191 is a hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor in development by InterMune and its partner, Roche.”

CLINICAL TRIALS, COHORT STUDIES, AND PILOT STUDIES

Outcome of screening for hepatitis C virus infection based on risk factors. Mallette C, et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2007 Sep 25 [Epub ahead of print]

Seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus among San Francisco injection drug users, 1998 to 2000. Tseng FC, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep;46(3):666-71.

Impact of weight-based ribavirin with peginterferon alfa-2b in african americans with hepatitis C virus genotype 1. Jacobson IM, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep 25;46(4):982-990.

Peginterferon alfa-2b and weight-based or flat-dose ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C patients: A randomized trial. Jacobson IM, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep 25;46(4):971-981.

A non-invasive fibrosis score predicts treatment outcome in chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Westin J, et al. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Sep 18;:1-8 [Epub ahead of print]

Contribution of marginal donors to liver transplantation for hepatitis C virus infection. Briceño J, et al. Transplant Proc. 2007 Sep;39(7):2297-9.

Pegylated interferon alfa-2a versus standard interferon alfa-2a for treatment-naive dialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C: A randomized study. Liu CH, et al. Gut. 2007 Sep 19; [Epub ahead of print]

Haematological support during peg-interferon therapy for HCV-infected haemophiliacs improves virological outcomes. Kevans D, et al. Haemophilia. 2007 Sep;13(5):593-8.

Antiviral activity of telaprevir (VX-950) and peginterferon alfa-2a in patients with hepatitis C. Forestier N, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep;46(3):640-8.

A national sample of individuals who acquired hepatitis C virus infections in childhood or adolescence: risk factors for advanced disease. Harris HE, et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007 Sep;45(3):335-41.

Phlebotomy improves therapeutic response to interferon in patients with chronic hepatitis C: A meta-analysis of six prospective randomized controlled trials. Desai TK, et al. Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Sep 12; [Epub ahead of print]

Does protracted antiviral therapy impact on HCV-related liver cirrhosis progression? Tarantino G, et al. World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Sep 28;13(36):4903-8.

Eight-week oral administration of meloxicam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, prevents dose reduction of pegylated interferon alpha-2a in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Kagawa T, et al. Hepatol Res. 2007 Sep 6; [Epub ahead of print]

Treatment eligibility and outcomes in elderly patients with chronic hepatitis C: Results from the VA HCV-001 study. Tsui JI, et al. Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Sep 1; [Epub ahead of print]

Adherence to hepatitis C treatment in recovering heroin users maintained on methadone. Sylvestre DL, et al. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Sep;19(9):741-7.

Therapy outcome in patients with chronic hepatitis C: role of therapy supervision by expert hepatologists. Sagir A, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2007 Sep;14(9):633-8.

Hepatitis C virus directly associates with insulin resistance independent of the visceral fat area in nonobese and nondiabetic patients. Yoneda M, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2007 Sep;14(9):600-7.

Relapse to prior therapy is the most important factor for the retreatment response in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Sagir A, et al. Liver Int. 2007 Sep;27(7):954-9.

BASIC AND APPLIED SCIENCE, PRE-CLINICAL STUDIES

Liver gene expression signature to predict response to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin combination therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Asselah T, et al. Gut. 2007 Sep 25 [Epub ahead of print]

Seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus among San Francisco injection drug users, 1998 to 2000. Tseng FC, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep;46(3):666-71.

Telaprevir and pegylated interferon-alpha-2a inhibit wild-type and resistant genotype 1 hepatitis C virus replication in patients. Kieffer TL, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep;46(3):631-9.

Hepatocyte steatosis in HCV patients promotes fibrosis by enhancing TGF-beta liver expression. Gabriel A, et al. Hepatol Res. 2007 Sep 6; [Epub ahead of print]

Is autotaxin (ENPP2) the link between hepatitis C and hepatocellular cancer? Cooper AB, et al. J Gastrointest Surg. 2007 Sep 25; [Epub ahead of print]

Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism and liver fibrosis progression in patients with recurrent hepatitis C. Toniutto P, et al. Liver Int. 2007 Sep 27; [Epub ahead of print]

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells initiate a complex chemokine and cytokine network and are a viable drug target in chronic HCV patients. Decalf J, et al. J Exp Med. 2007 Sep 24; [Epub ahead of print]

Nitazoxanide, tizoxanide and other thiazolides are potent inhibitors of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus replication. Korba BE, et al. Antiviral Res. 2007 Sep 4; [Epub ahead of print]

Elevated expression and polymorphisms of SOCS3 influence patient response to antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis C. Persico M, et al, Gut. 2007 Sep 19; [Epub ahead of print]

Pathogenesis of HCV-associated HCC: Dual-pass carcinogenesis through activation of oxidative stress and intracellular signaling. Koike K. Hepatol Res. 2007 Sep;37 Suppl 2:S115-20.

Claudin-6 and Claudin-9 function as additional co-receptors for hepatitis C virus. Zheng A, et al. J Virol. 2007 Sep 5; [Epub ahead of print]

Circumventing the heterogeneity and instability of human serum albumin-interferon-alpha2b fusion protein by altering its orientation. Zhao HL, et al. J Biotechnol. 2007 Sep 15;131(3):245-52. Epub 2007 Apr 29.

Additive effect of ethanol and HCV subgenomic replicon expression on COX-2 protein levels and activity. Trujillo-Murillo K, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2007 Sep;14(9):608-17.

Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging for the assessment of fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C. Lewin M, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep;46(3):658-65.

HIV/HCV CO-INFECTION

Clinical progression of hepatitis C virus-related chronic liver disease in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients undergoing highly active antiretroviral therapy. Pineda JA, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep;46(3):622-30.

The use of transient elastometry for assessing liver fibrosis in patients with HIV and hepatitis C virus coinfection. Vergara S, et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Oct 15;45(8):969-74. Epub 2007 Sep 11.

Slow progression of human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus disease in a cohort of coinfected children. Micheloud D, et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007 Sep;26(9):846-9.

A peer-education intervention to reduce injection risk behaviors for HIV and hepatitis C virus infection in young injection drug users. Garfein RS, et al. AIDS. 2007 Sep;21(14):1923-1932.

Differential antiviral effect of PEG-interferon-alpha-2b on HIV and HCV in the treatment of HIV/HCV co-infected patients. Neumann A, et al. AIDS. 2007 Sep;21(14):1855-1865.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) viremia in HIV-infected patients without HCV antibodies detectable by third-generation enzyme immunoassay. Hadlich E, et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Sep;22(9):1506-9

COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

Antiviral effects of Glycyrrhiza species. Fiore C, et al. Phytother Res. 2007 Sep 20; [Epub ahead of print]

Glycyrrhizin injection therapy prevents hepatocellular carcinogenesis in patients with interferon-resistant active chronic hepatitis C. Ikeda K. Hepatol Res. 2007 Sep;37 Suppl 2:S287-93.

Complementary and alternative medicine use by patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus. White CP, et al. Can J Gastroenterol. 2007 Sep;21(9):589-95.

MISCELLANEOUS WORKS

Limited effectiveness of donor deferral registries for transfusion-transmitted disease markers. Cable R, et al. Transfusion. 2007 Sep 25; [Epub ahead of print]

Reducing the risk of transfusion-transmissible viral infection through blood donor selection: the Australian experience 2000 through 2006. Polizzotto MN, et al. Transfusion. 2007 Sep 25; [Epub ahead of print]

Understanding the meaning of permanent deferral for blood donors. Whittaker S, et al. Transfusion. 2007 Sep 25; [Epub ahead of print]

Epidemiology and virology of hepatitis c virus genotype 5 in central France (ANRS HC EP 14 study). Abergel A, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Sep 26; [Epub ahead of print]

Epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma in Japan. Umemura T,et al. Hepatol Res. 2007 Sep;37 Suppl 2:S95-S100.

Epidemiology of hepatocellular carcinoma in USA. El-Serag HB. Hepatol Res. 2007 Sep;37 Suppl 2:S88-94.

Diagnostic value of serum protein profiling by SELDI-TOF ProteinChip compared with a biochemical marker, FibroTest, for the diagnosis of advanced fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Morra R, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Sep 15;26(6):847-58.

Tattooing in prisons--not such a pretty picture. Hellard ME, et al. Am J Infect Control. 2007 Sep;35(7):477-80.

Mechanisms of synergy between alcohol and hepatitis C virus. Singal AK, et al. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2007 Sep;41(8):761-72.

Evaluating the cost of sustained virologic response in naïve chronic hepatitis C patients treated à la carte. Buti M, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Sep 1;26(5):705-16.

Health professionals' attitudes toward caring for people with hepatitis C. Richmond JA, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2007 Sep;14(9):624-32.

Proteomic profiling of human liver biopsies: hepatitis C virus-induced fibrosis and mitochondrial dysfunction. Diamond DL, et al. Hepatology. 2007 Sep;46(3):649-57.

Epidemiology and virology of hepatitis c virus genotype 5 in central France (ANRS HC EP 14 study). Abergel A, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Sep 26; [Epub ahead of print]

Is hepatitis C infection associated with increased risk of depression in persons with methamphetamine dependence? Vigil O, et al. Am J Addict. 2007 Sep-Oct;16(5):418-23.

Risks associated with fresh whole blood and red blood cell transfusions in a combat support hospital* Spinella PC, et al. Crit Care Med. 2007 Sep 5; [Epub ahead of print]

The cost-effectiveness of the new protocol reflecting rapid virologic response to peginterferon alpha-2b and ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C. Nakamura J, et al. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Sep;19(9):733-9.

Full participation in harm reduction programmes is associated with decreased risk for human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus: evidence from the Amsterdam Cohort Studies among drug users. Van Den Berg C, et al. Addiction. 2007 Sep;102(9):1454-62.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence, and injecting risk behaviour in multiple sites in England in 2004. Hickman M, et al. J Viral Hepat. 2007 Sep;14(9):645-52.

Nationwide increase in hospitalizations and hepatitis C among inpatients with cirrhosis and sequelae of portal hypertension. Nguyen GC, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Sep;5(9):1092-9. Epub 2007 Jul 10.

Development and public release of a comprehensive hepatitis virus database. Shin-I T, et al. Hepatol Res. 2007 Sep 17; [Epub ahead of print]

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