Hepatitis C Challenge: Hep C Caring Ambassadors Program
HepC Choices

CAP-Hepatitis C Press Releases



The United States Preventative Services Task Force Listened!

9/30/13 - As of today, USPSTF's recommendation for providing hepatitis C tests to all American Baby Boomers is a Grade B. The Caring Ambassadors Program joins its voice to all of the others in the hepatitis C community who are applauding USPSTF for making this important upgrade. A Grade B means that the service is recommended unequivocally and that the benefit of the service is considered to be moderate to substantial. A Grade B recommendation will mean that the one-time hepatitis C test will become standard of care for all Baby Boomers. Just as importantly, under the Affordable Care Act, the Grade B recommendation means that the test will be covered as a preventive service with no cost to the individual. USPSTF has taken a monumental step towards combating hepatitis C by ensuring that the millions of Baby Boomers who are unaware that they are living with this disease will no longer remain ignorant of their status. Hepatitis C can be cured, but an individual must know that they have the virus before they can receive treatment. As USPSTF's recommendation is implemented, every single American Baby Boomer will know his or her status and be able to move forward with life-saving treatment.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced today the decision to modify their recommendations regarding screening for hepatitis C. In July 2012, USPSTF issued a grade C as part of their draft guidance for administering a one-time test for hepatitis C to members of the birth cohort, that is, individuals born between 1945 and 1965, commonly known as Baby Boomers. The C grade indicated that the task force recommended against routinely providing this service. This grade C recommendation was received with dismay by members of the hepatitis C community as it contradicted the positions taken by leading organizations in the field, including other governmental agencies such as the CDC. Moreover, USPSTF's recommendation was certain to have an overwhelmingly negative impact on the detection and treatment of hepatitis C in Baby Boomers given that the task force's recommendations are considered the gold standard for this type of analysis and are directly tied to reimbursement levels under the Affordable Care Act. Baby Boomers account for 75 percent of the estimated 3.2 million American living with hepatitis C and the vast majority of them are unaware of their status; this C grade recommendation ensured that these infected individuals would remain ignorant of their status, leading to unnecessary illness and death. Leaders in the Hepatitis C community, including the Caring Ambassadors Program, responded with vigor to USPSTF's call for comment regarding this recommendation. Fortunately, the Task Force listened.

The Caring Ambassadors Program is buoyed by these recent governmental actions to encourage the testing for everyone at risk for hepatitis C. If you are a member of the birth cohort, make sure that you bring these recent developments to the attention of your physician and get tested. USPSTF's new recommendation ensures that this potentially life-saving test will be available to all Baby Boomers. At your next visit, your primary care physician should ask you whether you've been tested for hepatitis C, but there is no guarantee that this will happen. So speak up. Ask your doctor about the test for hepatitis C and become an ambassador for your own health.

Contact: Lorren Sandt 503-632-9032

Press Release: November 5, 2011

Congress Stirred to Save Millions of American Lives and Consequent Billions in Future Healthcare Costs

The Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2011 was introduced in both Houses of Congress today potentially saving billions in taxpayer dollars.
Read the complete Press Release PDF format


NVHR: Administration’s 2012 Budget Proposal Represents ‘Sea Change’ In National Response to Viral Hepatitis Epidemic
Budget Proposal Calls for $5 Million Increase For State-based Surveillance, Screening & Treatment Programs

NVHR Press Briefing : 10-14-10
NVHR: New Report Confirms Chronic Viral Hepatitis Is Winnable Public Health Battle


NVHR Press Briefing: 10-4-10
NVHR Blasts Arizona Medicaid’s ‘Inhumane’ Policy Depriving Hepatitis C Patients Liver Transplant CoveragePatient Advocates, Noted Liver Physician Criticize Arizona Policy as Lacking Scientific Basis


NVHR Press Briefing: 9-30-10
NVHR: In Fighting for ‘Six Winnable Battles,’
CDC May Lose the Nation's Overall Public-Health War

Washington, DC – In response to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Thomas Frieden”s release of "six winnable battles" in health care, Ms. Lorren Sandt, Chair of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) and Executive Director of Caring Ambassadors Program, based in Portland, Oregon, released the following statement: Full Press Release


NVHR Press Briefing: 9-24-10
NVHR Welcomes Support of National Hepatitis C Advocacy Council In Fight to Address Chronic Viral Hepatitis


NVHR Press Briefing: 7-22-10
NVHR Responds to New York Times Article on Hepatitis C Testing


NVHR Press Briefing: 7-14-10
NVHR: Administration’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy Recognizes Need For Better Care Coordination for Individuals Co-Infected with Viral Hepatitis


NVHR Press Briefing: 6-17-10
NVHR Applauds House Oversight Committee for Examining Bipartisan Solutions to Fighting the Viral Hepatitis Epidemic


NVHR Press Briefing: 6-2-10
NVHR Applauds World Health Organization Resolution Calling for Comprehensive Strategy to Fight Viral Hepatitis Worldwide


NVHR Press Briefing: 5-19-2010
NVHR On World Hepatitis Day 2010, NVHR Capitol Hill Rally Attracts Hundreds of Americans & Members of Congress To Support Increased Federal Funding for Viral Hepatitis


CAP-Hepatitis C News


Week Ending April 13, 2014

EASL Releases Recommendations on the Management of Hepatitis C
‘The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) will this week be announcing new recommendations on the management of hepatitis C (HCV) at the International Liver Congress (ILC). These EASL recommendations reflect the approval of three new direct–acting antivirals (DAAs) during 2014 by the European Medicines Agency.’

Hep C Therapies to Hog Spotlight at EASL
‘LONDON — New treatments for hepatitis C virus (HCV) will have most of the limelight this week at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver. A tidal wave of novel direct–acting agents has been building for several years and is set to break here, according to the association’s secretary–general, Markus Peck, MD, of the Medical University of Vienna in Austria.’

New Treatments May Defuse Viral Time Bomb
‘Mohamed Ibrahim first learned he had hepatitis C when he tried to donate blood. Weeks later he received a letter from the blood clinic telling him he carried antibodies of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). He most likely acquired the disease from a blood transfusion he received during surgery when he was a child. “I needed a lot of blood, and this was at a time before they screened it,” Ibrahim recalls.’

WHO Calls for ‘Concerted Effort’ to Lower Hepatitis C Drug Cost
‘The cost of newer hepatitis C treatments, as high as $84,000 in the U.S., is unaffordable for most patients and must be lowered, the World Health Organization said in a report today providing guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of people with the virus.’

Bristol–Myers Squibb Submits NDAs for Daclatasvir and Asunaprevir to US FDA for the Treatment of Hepatitis C
‘Bristol–Myers Squibb Company BMY +0.49% announced today that they have submitted new drug applications (NDAs) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the investigational products daclatasvir (DCV), an NS5A replication complex inhibitor, and asunaprevir (ASV), a NS3 protease inhibitor. The data submitted in the NDAs support the use of DCV+ASV in patients with genotype 1b hepatitis C (HCV).’

New Chinese herbal medicine has significant potential in treating hepatitis C
‘Data from a late–breaking abstract presented at the International Liver Congress 2014 identifies a new compound, SBEL1, that has the ability to inhibit hepatitis C virus (HCV) activity in cells at several points in the virus’ lifecycle.[1] SBEL1 is a compound isolated from Chinese herbal medicines that was found to inhibit HCV activity by approximately 90%.’

UPDATED: Watch out, Gilead. Merck is mounting a hep C combo comeback
‘Merck may be late to the blockbuster party with its new hepatitis C drugs, but the pharma giant is moving fast with a top contender boasting high cure rates. Merck ($MRK) unveiled interim Phase II results for an oral combination of MK–5172, its NS3/4A protease inhibitor, and MK–8742, an NS5A, among patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection. After 12 weeks of therapy 42 of 43 patients—98%—demonstrated a sustained viral response.’

Week Ending April 6, 2014

Updated Viral Hepatitis Action Plan Released
‘Today we are pleased to release an updated version of the nation’s first comprehensive cross- governmental action plan to combat chronic viral hepatitis, initially launched in 2011. The Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis (2014-2016) [PDF 2,068KB] builds upon the substantial progress accomplished over the past three years by agencies and offices across the Department of Health and Human Services – as well as within the Departments of Justice and Veterans Affairs’

Low-dose interferon more effective in preventing relapse among HCV patients with mild fibrosis
‘Low-dose oral interferon could be more effective than other treatments for reducing the risk for hepatitis C virus relapse in patients with mild liver fibrosis, according to a recent study.’

HCV, HIV vaccine research focuses on indirect dendritic cell stimulation
‘Researchers in Australia are exploring a technique that could help to deliver a DNA vaccine for hepatitis C virus and HIV, according to a press release from the university.’

Medivir: Two Phase III Trials Evaluating Once-Daily Simeprevir and Sofosbuvir in Hepatitis C Infected Patients Have Been Initiated
‘Medivir AB (omx:MVIR) today announces that two phase III trials are recruiting patients to examine the efficacy and safety of the NS3/4A protease inhibitor simeprevir in combination with the nucleotide inhibitor sofosbuvir for the treatment of chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients with and without cirrhosis.’

Gilead Hep C Combo Hits Primary Endpoint in Japan
‘Gilead Sciences Inc. announced top-line results from a Phase 3 clinical trial (Study GS-US-334- 0118) in Japan evaluating the once–daily nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir in combination with ribavirin (RBV) for the treatment of genotype 2 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The study met its primary efficacy endpoint of superiority compared to a predefined historical control sustained virologic response (SVR) rate.’

WHO to release HCV treatment guidelines
‘WHO will be releasing its first global guidelines on how to effectively treat hepatitis C virus infection at the International Liver Congress, according to an organizational press release.’

Audio-Digest Foundation Announces the Release of Pediatrics Volume 60, Issue 02: Hepatitis C/Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
‘The goals of this program are to improve the management of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). After hearing and assimilating this program, the clinician will be better able to: 1. Discuss the etiology of HCV among children and adolescents.’

Week Ending March 30, 2014

Merck to Present New Data for Investigational Hepatitis C Treatments MK-5172 and MK-8742 at EASL Annual Meeting/The International Liver Congress™ 2014
‘Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that new Phase 2 data for its two investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments – MK-5172, an investigational HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor, and MK-8742, an investigational HCV NS5A replication complex inhibitor — are scheduled to be presented at the 49(th) Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), also known as The International Liver Congress™ 2014.’

Should Prisoners Get Expensive Hepatitis C Drugs?
‘If used widely, a new generation of antiviral drugs has the potential to wipe out the deadly hepatitis C virus in the United States. But the high price of the drugs might prevent their use in prisons, which house as many as one–third of those who are infected.’

Interferon-free BMS combo cures 90% of genotype 1 hepatitis C
‘An all–oral regimen of daclatasvir, asunaprevir and BMS–791325 – without interferon or ribavirin – led to sustained response in approximately 90% of people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) who had not previously taken treatment, most with hard–to–treat genotype 1a, according to a study presented at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) this month in Boston.’

Russian health department approves simeprevir to treat HCV
‘The Russian Ministry of Health approved simeprevir as treatment for chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection, Medivir AB reported today in a press release.’

Week Ending March 23, 2014

Incidence of acute hep C highest in Kentucky
‘Kentucky has the highest rate of acute hepatitis C infection – 3.2 cases per 100,000 population – in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.’

Drugmaker: Simeprevir showed better safety profile than telaprevir in HCV patients
‘Simeprevir was safer than telaprevir among patients with hepatitis C virus, according to data presented by Medivir AB at the Conference of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver.’

SLACK Incorporated launches HCV Next
‘SLACK Incorporated, publisher of Infectious Disease News, has launched HCV Next, the first multidisciplinary publication exclusively focused on hepatitis C. HCV Next will change the way physicians across multiple specialties care for patients with HCV.’

New Treatments for Hepatitis C Virus: Strategies for Achieving Universal Access
‘185 million people across the world are infected with HCV; 150 million are chronically infected. The HCV pandemic is concentrated in middle–income countries (MICs); while 15% of the 150 million people with chronic HCV live in high–income countries (HICs), 72% live in MICs and 13% in low–income countries (LICs). It is estimated that HCV–related liver complications kill 350,000 people annually.’

Gilead offers Egypt new hepatitis C drug at 99 percent discount
‘Gilead Sciences, facing mounting criticism over the high price of its new hepatitis C pill Sovaldi, has offered to supply the medicine to Egypt at a 99 percent discount to the U.S. price. While the drug will still cost $900 for a 12–week course of treatment, that is a fraction of the $84,000 charged for a course of treatment in the United States.’

Hep C incidence up among most races/ethnicities
‘The incidence of acute hepatitis C increased 51.6% among whites from 2010 to 2011, the last year for which data are available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.’

Week Ending March 16, 2014

Bayer and Onyx Report Phase 3 Study Results of NEXAVAR® (sorafenib) as Adjuvant Treatment for Patients with Liver Cancer Who Have Undergone Surgery or Local Ablation
‘Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an Amgen subsidiary, today announced that a Phase 3 trial evaluating the investigational use of NEXAVAR® (sorafenib) tablets as an adjuvant treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer, who had no detectable disease after surgical resection or local ablation, did not meet its primary endpoint of improving recurrence-free survival.’

Promising Treatments Herald New Era in Hepatitis C Treatment
‘Recently, several studies presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston, have highlighted promising treatments for serious liver disease, with particular attention being paid to chronic infection caused by the liver-damaging Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection.’

Burman's Leverages Pioneering Treatment Management Solution to Improve Hepatitis C Outcomes
‘Burman’s announces the launch of a new version of HealthTrac, the company’s proprietary medication therapy management (MTM) software. Burman’s initiated the update in anticipation of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Sovaldi and Olysio, two new oral antiviral drugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), which occurred in December 2013.’

Daclatasvir plus simeprevir are effective against hepatitis C genotype 1b
‘An all–oral regimen of daclatasvir plus simeprevir, without interferon or ribavirin, led to sustained response in 85 to 95% of people with hepatitis C genotype 1b, but this combination did not work well against genotype 1a, researchers reported last week at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston.’

Conversations from CROI 2014: Dr. Douglas Dieterich on Important Advances in Hepatitis C
‘At the 2014 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) Exit Disclaimer, Dr. Ron Valdiserri sat down for an in–depth conversation with Dr. Doug Dieterich of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, who made several presentations and was involved in scientific posters shared during the conference on hepatitis C mono–infection and HIV/HCV co–infection’

Hepatitis C Patients May Get Triaged For New Cures Based On Amount of Liver Damage
‘Hepatitis C is now considered a "curable" disease by doctors, thanks to two new drugs – Olysio, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, and the recently released Sovaldi, a product of Gilead Sciences. With very few side effects and a cure rate of as much as 95%, these drugs represent the much–needed break medical practitioners have been looking for in addressing the needs of a disease that has reached epidemic proportions.’

Hepatitis C virus core antigen, an earlier and stronger predictor on sustained virological response in patients with genotype 1 HCV infection
‘Earlier kinetics of serum HCV core antigen (HCVcAg) and its predictive value on sustained virological response (SVR) were investigated in patients with genotype 1 HCV infection during antiviral treatment.’

Week Ending March 9, 2014

Boehringer Ingelheim Announces Phase 3 SVR12 Results in HCV/HIV Co-Infected Patients Treated with Faldaprevir
‘Ingelheim, Germany and Ridgefield, CT, March 6, 2014 – Today Boehringer Ingelheim announced results from STARTVerso®4 in patients with HCV/HIV co–infection. Hepatitis C viral cure 12 weeks after the conclusion of treatment (SVR12) was achieved by 72% of all patients in the trial. Patients were enrolled in either 120mg or 240mg faldaprevir dose groups.’

PEARL–III Study Results in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Presented at the 21(st) Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI)
‘Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENTA) today announced that detailed results from the PEARL–III study were presented today as part of the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) press conference and will also be presented as a late–breaker at the conference on March 4.’

Medivir: SVR12 Results from a Phase IIa Study Evaluating Simeprevir and Daclatasvir in Hepatitis C Patients of Genotype 1 Have Been Presented
‘Medivir AB (sto:MVIR–B)(omx:MVIR) today announced that study results from a phase IIa trial evaluating simeprevir, a once–daily protease inhibitor jointly developed by Janssen R&D Ireland and Medivir AB, in combination with daclatasvir, an investigational once–daily NS5A inhibitor developed by Bristol–Myers Squibb BMY +0.49% , with and without ribavirin, in patients with hepatitis C (HCV) genotype 1 infection, have been presented at the 21th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) on March 4th in Boston, USA. The study was conducted by Bristol–Myers Squibb.’

Fewer Americans are living with hepatitis C, because more have died
‘The number of Americans who are infected with hepatitis C is falling, but that’s probably because more people who have been sickened by the virus are dying as a result, government researchers reported Monday.’

A Double–Blind Randomized Controlled Study to Evaluate the Efficacy of Low–Dose Oral Interferon–Alpha in Preventing Hepatitis C Relapse
‘Low–dose oral interferon could exert immune–modulating effects in human. We conducted a clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of oral interferon–alpha in preventing hepatitis C relapse. Totally 169 genotype 1b chronic hepatitis C patients having achieved end–of–therapy virological clearance were randomized to receive interferon-alpha lozenge 500 IU/day (n=59), 1,500 IU/day (n=53), or placebo (n=57) for 24 weeks.’

One in 100 Americans has chronic hepatitis C infection
‘At least one percent of Americans are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus, which over time can severely damage the liver, according to a new study. "Hepatitis C has a severe impact on the health and well-being of millions of Americans, especially baby boomers (those born from 1945 through 1965)," Dr. Scott D. Holmberg told Reuters Health in an email.’

Week Ending March 2, 2014

Progress Against Hepatitis C, a Sneaky Virus
‘Forty years ago, a beloved neighbor was bedridden for weeks at a time with a mysterious ailment. She knew only that it involved her liver and that she must never drink alcohol, which would make things worse.’

How a Patient Fought Hepatitis C Virus and Won
‘When Randy Dietrich learned he had contracted a hepatitis C infection, he felt shock, fear, and confusion. “I had never really heard about hepatitis C,” said Dietrich, at the time a 42-year-old rising star at Republic Financial Corporation in Denver, where he’s now the CEO.’

HCV increased risk for dying prematurely
‘Adults with hepatitis C had an increased risk for dying and for dying prematurely compared with the general population, according to findings from a study conducted in New York. They were particularly likely to die of HCV-associated conditions, such as HIV or drug use, researchers from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases.’

Pharma offering new hope for hepatitis C patients
‘Bristol–Myers Squibb has gotten a lot of attention lately for its new cancer treatments. The so–called bio–pharma player has been a pioneer in immuno–oncology, recently taking steps to further expand the business. But for all of the attention paid to its cancer drug pipeline, Bristol just scored a breakthrough therapy designation from the Food and Drug Administration for a treatment that targets hepatitis C.’

HCV prevalence, cost burden continue to rise
‘The hepatitis C virus has a profound negative impact on patients’ quality of life, both in its clinical manifestations and its overall economic burden, according to recent study data. A panel of hepatologists, experienced with evidence assessment, was convened to estimate how HCV affects patient outcomes.’

NMA Experts Release Recommendations to Address Hepatitis C Among African Americans
‘With an estimated 3.2 million Americans chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), and an estimated 75% of them unaware of their infection, the sheer magnitude of the number of persons infected calls the nation to action.’

Week Ending February 24, 2014

Bristol–Myers Hepatitis C Treatment Receives FDA Breakthrough Therapy Status
“Bristol–Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) said its combination therapy for hepatitis C received breakthrough therapy status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Gilead’s New Hepatitis C Treatment Slated To Surpass Rival Drugs In Prescriptions
“Gilead’s Hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi made headlines last week as developing countries like India wrangle over how the price of the groundbreaking drug can be adjusted to make it accessible to patients who simply cannot pay the prohibitive costs associated with the treatment in the U.S. and Europe. In spite of this issue, a new article in Forbes indicates that Gilead’s Sovaldi is on its way toward becoming a major success for the company, as all indications are that the drug will realize tremendous growth in 2014, as it is expected to become widely used throughout the world in order to combat the deadly liver disease.”

Sofosbuvir a ‘Potentially Lifesaving Therapy’ for Liver Transplant Patients With Hepatitis C
“The outlook for patients with hepatitis C undergoing liver transplantation got a lot sunnier with the results of two studies presented at The Liver Meeting 2013.”

Rutgers scientists identify structure of virus that could lead to Hepatitis C vaccine
NEW BRUNSWICK – “Rutgers University scientists have determined the structure of a hepatitis C surface protein, a finding that could assist in the development of a vaccine to halt the spread of the the deadly disease that has infected 3.2 million Americans.”

Progress Against Hepatitis C, a Sneaky Virus
“Forty years ago, a beloved neighbor was bedridden for weeks at a time with a mysterious ailment. She knew only that it involved her liver and that she must never drink alcohol, which would make things worse.”

Fighting Hepatitis C Among African Americans
“February is Black History Month, a time to commemorate the achievements of African Americans in the United States. It also presents an opportunity to discuss serious health concerns that affect the African American community, including viral hepatitis and especially Hepatitis C.”

HCV under–documented on death certificates
“Only 19% of people dying with hepatitis C virus had the disease listed on their death certificates, according to CDC researchers.”

Walgreens Broadens Access To Its Connected Care Hepatitis C Program
“Walgreens has announced that more than 100 of its pharmacies will now have hepatitis C virus (HCV) medications and pharmacists specially trained in the use of new oral therapies. This move broadens access to the Walgreens Connected Care hepatitis C program, an education and support program for hepatitis C patients.”

Hepatitis C Virus Risk Differs Among Hispanic Groups
“The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) varies significantly among different subtypes of Hispanics in the United States, a new study finds.”

Sleep disturbance common in chronic HCV
“Patients with chronic hepatitis C, even without cirrhosis, were more likely to experience altered sleep patterns — including insomnia, fatigue, depression and a reduced quality of life — compared with healthy controls, study findings indicate.”

Week Ending February 16, 2014

Gilead Files for U.S. Approval of Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir Fixed-Dose Combination Tablet for Genotype 1 Hepatitis C
‘Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD -1.62% today announced that the company has submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a once–daily fixed–dose combination of the NS5A inhibitor ledipasvir (LDV) 90 mg and the nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir (SOF) 400 mg for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adults.’

Current HCV therapies may not benefit older patients
‘A sustained virologic response to existing hepatitis C treatments – namely, pegylated interferon and ribavirin combined with a protease inhibitor – is less likely to benefit older patients with less advanced liver fibrosis, according to recent data.’

Triple therapy resulted in reduced fibrosis among patients with HCV
‘Liver transplant patients with recurrent hepatitis C virus displayed less fibrotic progression when treated with tacrolimus, azathioprine and steroids compared with those patients receiving tacrolimus monotherapy in a recent study.’

Study finds DNA coding can affect ability to fight Hepatitis C
‘A recently study, led by Dr. Ram Savan of the University of Washington, revealed a person’s DNA coding of chromosome 19 can have an effect on that person’s ability to fight off Hepatitis C infection.’

Vitamin D levels failed to predict HCV treatment outcome
‘Vitamin D levels did not show any significant association with the outcome of antiviral therapy among a cohort infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1, according to new study findings.’

Week Ending February 9, 2014

Close link between HIV and hepatitis C transmission networks
‘HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission networks are closely linked, according to Swiss research published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Combining clinical data with phylogenetic analysis of HIV samples from a drug resistance database showed that the risk of incident HCV infection was increased by a factor of two if a patient was “clustered” with another patient with HCV.’

New HCV Interim Treatment Recommendations Available
‘The latest treatment recommendations for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are now available on HCVguidelines.org, the result of a collaboration between the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and the International Antiviral Society–USA.’

Standing Strong Together: A Community Conversation on HIV and HCV
‘There are moments that transpire annually that seek to remind us of the importance of work, conversation, and community. Every year on February 7, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day reminds people of African descent to get tested for HIV. The day looks to highlight, raise awareness and spur folks to action on HIV and AIDS in the Black community.’

Week Ending February 2, 2014

Online Expert Advice for Clinicians Treating Hepatitis C Now Available
‘Today, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), in collaboration with the International Antiviral Society– USA (IAS-USA), announced the launch of a new website, HCVguidelines.org, which will offer up-to-date guidance for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.’

AbbVie Completes Largest Phase III Program of an All-Oral, Interferon-Free Therapy for the Treatment of Hepatitis C Genotype 1
‘NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Jan. 31, 2014 – AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) announced the completion of its phase III clinical program and released results of four additional studies designed to assess AbbVie’s investigational all-oral, interferon–free therapy with and without ribavirin (RBV) in patients with chronic genotype 1 (GT1) hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.’

Inflammatory Cells Linked to Earlier Death From AIDS, Hep C
‘Certain inflammatory markers are linked to an earlier death among alcohol abusers with HIV, including those coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). This possibly helps explain why, despite antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, some HIV–positive people die before others.’

Transcription Factor May Protect Against Hepatic Injury Caused by Hepatitis C and Alcohol
‘New data suggest that the transcription factor FOXO3 may protect against alcohol-induced liver injury. Researchers determined that alcohol given to mice deficient in FOXO3 caused severe liver injury resembling human alcoholic hepatitis. Further they found that although hepatitis C virus (HCV) and alcohol independently activated FOXO3, in combination they suppressed FOXO3, reduced expression of cytoprotective genes, and worsened liver injury.’

Culture Shock: Web-Based Hep C Tx Guidelines
‘Practice guidelines are a fact of life in modern medicine. They provide clinicians with the best data and the latest consensus on what the data mean for the care of patients. But they are — or have been — rather slow to react to changes.’

Week Ending January 26, 2014

Faldaprevir an Anticipated Addition to HCV Armamentarium
‘Treatment with faldaprevir, a once-daily hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitor, in combination with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) led to a sustained virologic response (SVR) at week 12 in 80% of patients with HCV genotype 1, findings from a large, randomized placebo-controlled trial of the drug revealed.’

Better insights into treating hepatitis C
‘With nearly 200 million infected people worldwide, hepatitis C virus (HCV) represents a significant public health issue. One of the most important challenges is that although the immune system seems to be responsible for much of the disease-associated morbidity, including liver cirrhosis, it is also successful at clearing viral infection for a significant number of patients.’

Phase 2b Trial of Interferon–free Therapy for Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1
‘An interferon-free combination of the protease inhibitor ABT-450 with ritonavir (ABT-450/r), the nonnucleoside polymerase inhibitor ABT-333, and ribavirin showed efficacy against the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a pilot study involving patients with HCV genotype 1 infection.’

Prevalence of hepatitis C in Swiss MSM similar to general population
‘In Switzerland, hepatitis C virus infections do not appear to be more prevalent in men with or without HIV than in the general population, suggesting that widespread screening for this population is unneeded, recent study data found.’

Daclatasvir–sofosbuvir combo effective in chronic HCV infection
‘Research shows that the combination of daclatasvir and sofosbuvir leads to high rates of sustained virologic response in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including those who have not responded to previous therapy.’

Electronic medical records improved identification, follow–up of infants with HCV infected mothers
‘Electronic medical records can help improve identification and follow-up of infants born to mothers with hepatitis C virus infection, according to study findings published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.’

Week Ending January 19, 2014

Medivir: Interim results (SVR4) from a phase II all–oral combination study of Simeprevir and Samatasvir (IDX719) for the treatment of hepatitis C
‘Sweden—Medivir AB (sto:MVIR-B), announces that Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today released interim data from the ongoing phase II HELIX-1 clinical trial evaluating an all–oral, direct–acting antiviral (DAA) HCV combination regimen of samatasvir (IDX719), Idenix’s once–daily pan–genotypic NS5A inhibitor, and simeprevir , a once-daily protease inhibitor jointly developed by Janssen R&D Ireland and Medivir AB, and ribavirin.’

Marketing validated for Bristol-Myers Squibb HCV treatment in EU
‘Bristol–Myers Squibb Company, a late–stage pharmaceutical research company, announced on Wednesday that the European Medicines Agency validated the company’s marketing authorization application for the use of a chronic hepatitis C treatment.’

Achillion Reports HCV Pipeline Progress and Outlines 2014 HCV Milestones
‘NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) — Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ACHN +3.52% today reported progress on the Company's portfolio of proprietary compounds for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) and outlined its 2014 milestones.’

Hepatitis C: More Affordable Treatment Possible
‘Large-scale manufacture of drugs used to treat patients infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be accomplished at much lower costs than current pricing schemes, according to a study published online January 6 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.’

Costly Pills Put Financial Burden on Health Systems
‘The new Sovaldi hepatitis C drug, which has a wholesale cost of $1,000 a pill, will pose a challenge to Medicare, Medicaid and prison systems during a time of austere budgets. “We’ve got the first of many tools that will allow us to seriously have the discussion about eradicating hepatitis C,” said Michael Ninburg, executive director of the Hepatitis Education Project in Seattle.’

HCV: Hispanics Don't Fit into One Risk Group
‘Hispanics in the U.S. have much the same rate of hepatitis C (HCV) as the majority white population, researchers reported. But there are dramatic differences among sub-groups, depending on Hispanic/Latino background, according to Mark Kuniholm, PhD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues.’

UNMC part of international hepatitis C registry to improve treatment
‘The University of Nebraska Medical Center is involved in an international registry that’s evaluating new treatments for hepatitis C, a disease that threatens many baby boomers. Many of the estimated 3 million people in the U.S. who have the virus – an overwhelming majority are baby boomers – don’t know they are infected. Hepatitis C is responsible for 12,000 deaths annually in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.’

HCV Combo Works Without Old Standbys
‘Chronic hepatitis C (HCV) can be treated effectively without any of the standard drugs, researchers reported. In an open-label study, all-oral combination therapy yielded cure rates ranging from 89% to 100% depending on patient and treatment characteristics, according to Mark Sulkowski, MD, of Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues.’

Gilead's Hep C Drug Sovaldi Approved in EU
‘Gilead Sciences Inc. announced that the European Commission has granted marketing authorization for Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) 400 mg tablets, a once-daily oral nucleotide analogue polymerase inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection in adults, in combination with other antiviral agents (ribavirin (RBV) and pegylated interferon alpha (peg-IFN)).’

Boehringer Ingelheim HCV Announcement
‘Following an assessment of the blinded Phase 3 trial data from HCVerso® 1 and 2 for the combination of deleobuvir, faldaprevir and ribavirin, Boehringer Ingelheim has decided to halt further development of deleobuvir-containing hepatitis C (HCV) regimens.’

Week Ending January 13, 2014

Support program improved HCV treatment results, cost-effectiveness
‘A multidisciplinary support program increased the likelihood that patients would reach end of treatment and achieve sustained virologic response when using pegylated interferon alfa-2a and ribavirin to treat chronic hepatitis C, study results determined.’

UNMC Part Of International Hepatitis C Registry To Improve Treatment
‘The University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha is involved in an international registry that’s evaluating new treatments for hepatitis C, a disease that threatens many baby boomers.’

Research tackles liver transplant failure
‘The re-infection of transplanted livers with hepatitis C virus (HCV) – which can irreparably damage the new organ – could be halted by administering a drug which blocks the virus entering the liver, research from the University of Birmingham being presented at the Liver Meeting demonstrates.’

Widespread access to new HCV antivirals feasible within 15 years
‘Large-scale manufacturing of direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C is possible within the next 15 years, with a minimum target price of $100 to $250 for a 12-week treatment course, recent data suggest.’

Week Ending January 5, 2014

New Research on Hepatitis C Virus Inhibition by Milk Thistle Extract Announced by Ethical Alternative Products
‘Previous research studies indicate that milk thistle and its main component silibinin inhibit HCV infection. A team of scientists led by J. Blaising* have conducted a study aimed at elucidating the mechanism of anti-HCV action of silymarin-derived compounds at the molecular level.’

Transcription Factor May Protect Against Hepatic Injury Caused by Hepatitis C and Alcohol
‘New data suggest that the transcription factor FOXO3 may protect against alcohol-induced liver injury. Researchers determined that alcohol given to mice deficient in FOXO3 caused severe liver injury resembling human alcoholic hepatitis.’

IDUs decreased drug use after HCV seroconversion
‘Injection drug users who test positive for hepatitis C were more likely to decrease their drug use, according to researchers from the University of Montreal. “Our study underscores the need for regular and individualized HCV screening and counseling for all [injection drug users] with linkage to HCV treatment and opiate substitution therapy when appropriate,” the researchers wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases.’

Anti-TB drug hepatotoxicity increased in those with HCV
‘Patients coinfected with hepatitis C and tuberculosis are more likely to experience drug-induced hepatotoxicity related to first-line tuberculosis therapy, according to recent data.’

Killer hepatitis on the prowl, warn experts; Doctors plan to launch a foundation to make government and community pay greater attention to the problem
‘With hepatitis viral infections assuming menacing proportions and leading to very high mortality, a group of concerned doctors and non–medical individuals have decided to launch Hepatitis–free India Liver Foundation to make government and community pay greater attention to the problem.’

ARVs Lower Advanced Liver Disease in Men With HIV & Hep C
‘Men coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are at significantly reduced risk of developing decompensated liver disease after beginning antiretroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV, aidsmap reports.’

Hepatitis took decades off expected life span
‘Hepatitis was listed as a cause of death for more than 18,000 people in 2010 in the United States, and the deaths occurred 22 to 23 years earlier than in patients not listing such infections as a cause of death, a study determined.’

Week Ending December 29, 2013

Congress Acts to Save the Lives of Millions Living with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C
‘A vital weapon in the fight against chronic viral hepatitis was introduced on December 12, 2013 in the US House of Representatives. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R – Louisiana) introduced the Viral Hepatitis Testing Act of 2013, HR3723, on behalf of himself, Rep. Charlie Dent (R – Pennsylvania), and Brett Guthrie (R – Kentucky).’

Boehringer Ingelheim’s hepatitis C antiviral shows promise in Phase III study
‘Boehringer Ingelheim, a German pharmaceutical company, announced on Monday that its second-generation protease inhibitor was effective in a Phase III trial against mutant variants of the hepatitis C virus.’

Fight for cheap drugs shifts from AIDS to new hepatitis pills
“A new battle is looming over access to antiviral medicines in developing countries – this time for treating hepatitis C – more than a decade after a global showdown over the price of AIDS drugs in Africa. Modern pills being launched in western markets could cure the liver-destroying infection in tens of millions of people from China to Congo, or even eradicate the disease entirely. But that will only happen if the cost falls dramatically.”

Nigeria: 40 million have hepatitis B or C: Survey
‘Some 40 million Nigerians are infected with the hepatitis virus–which causes inflammation in the liver, according to survey carried out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control with support from pharmaceutical research firm Roche, according to a Daily Trust report today.”

Why Aren't More Drug Treatment Centers Screening for HIV and Hep C?
‘In spite of government recommendations for more widespread screening, the percentage of for–profit opioid treatment programs offering on–site testing for HIV, the hepatitis C virus, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has dropped over the past decade.’

Coffee, chocolate linked to improved liver health in HIV/HCV patients
‘Patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C may experience a reduction in abnormal liver enzymes and an overall improvement in liver function with increased consumption of coffee and chocolate, a study determined.’

Week Ending December 22, 2013

Variables may predict HCV patients likely to respond to peginterferon/ribavirin
‘Using baseline data in combination with rapid virologic response status, researchers reported they may be able to predict which hepatitis C genotype 1 treatment–naive patients will benefit most from conventional dual therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, according to study data.’

Telaprevir reduced HCV treatment duration in HIV–coinfected patients
‘Adding telaprevir to pegylated interferon and ribavirin for the treatment of acute genotype 1 hepatitis C infection in HIV–positive men reduced the duration of hepatitis C therapy by half for most patients and improved sustained virologic response rates, according to new data.’

Gilead Releases Impressive Results for Hepatitis Drug
‘Gilead Sciences Inc. announced topline results from three Phase 3 clinical trials evaluating the investigational once–daily fixed–dose combination of the nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir (SOF) 400 mg and the NS5A inhibitor ledipasvir (LDV) 90 mg, with and without ribavirin (RBV), for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.’

Study: Latent Hepatitis C Infection Can Lead to Stroke; polyDNA Recommends Muxscle Against the Latent HCV
‘In 2012, the Reuters news agency reported that “Hepatitis C (HCV) has surpassed HIV as a killer of U.S. adults…” in an article published on February 23 (2). Studies show that HCV kills adults in more ways than one. One way is by stroke.’

Boehringer Ingelheim’s hepatitis C antiviral shows promise in Phase III study
’Boehringer Ingelheim, a German pharmaceutical company, announced on Monday that its second–generation protease inhibitor was effective in a Phase III trial against mutant variants of the hepatitis C virus. When used in conjunction with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, faldaprevir was effective even in the presence of naturally–occurring mutant variations of HCV.’

HealthStat Rx: Curing Hepatitis C (HCV) With Confidence
‘One of the nation’s leading medication therapy management companies, HealthStat Rx, announces today it offers Sovaldi(TM) from Gilead Sciences and Olysio(TM) from Janssen Therapeutics, to treat chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in adults.’

Antiviral Therapy For Hep C Improved Diabetes Outcomes
‘Research from Taiwan has shown that antiviral therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) improved kidney and cardiovascular outcomes for patients with diabetes. Results of the study, published in the journal Hepatology, show that incidences of kidney disease, stroke, and heart attack were lower in patients treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin compared to HCV patients not treated with antivirals or diabetic patients not infected with the virus.’

ANALYSIS-Fight for cheap drugs shifts from AIDS to new hepatitis pills
‘A new battle is looming over access to antiviral medicines in developing countries – this time for treating hepatitis C – more than a decade after a global showdown over the price of AIDS drugs in Africa. Modern pills being launched in western markets could cure the liver–destroying infection in tens of millions of people from China to Congo, or even eradicate the disease entirely. But that will only happen if the cost falls dramatically.’

Week Ending December 15, 2013

Hepatitis C Virus Remains Infective for 6 Weeks on Fomites
‘Drops of hepatitis C virus (HCV) dry and remain infective for 6 weeks at room temperature, according to a new study. Therefore, fomites may be a source of nosocomial HCV infections.’

Enanta Pharmaceuticals Announces 96 Percent SVR12 in Treatment Experienced Genotype 1 Hepatitis C Patients in SAPPHIRE–II Study
‘Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced results from the SAPPHIRE–II study, the second of six phase 3 registrational studies being conducted by AbbVie for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 (GT1) infection, using a regimen containing Enanta’s lead protease inhibitor ABT–450. ABT–450 is part of AbbVie's investigational three direct–acting antiviral (3D) regimen, consisting of boosted protease inhibitor ABT–450/ritonavir, NS5A inhibitor ABT–267, and non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor ABT–333.’

Barriers to HCV care include lack of physical symptoms, treatment side effects
‘Barriers to hepatitis C care for patients enrolled in opioid substitution treatment included the perception of being physically well and concerns about adverse effects associated with interferon–based hepatitis C virus treatment, according to results from the ETHOS study.’

Antivirals for HCV improve kidney and cardiovascular diseases in diabetic patients
‘Researchers from Taiwan reveal that antiviral therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) improves kidney and cardiovascular outcomes for patients with diabetes.’

Week Ending December 8, 2013

FDA Approves 'Game Changer' Hepatitis C Drug Sofosbuvir
‘The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first–in–kind nuceotide analog inhibitor sofosbuvir (Sovaldi, Gilead Sciences, Inc) for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, a widely anticipated move that is expected to dramatically improve outcomes for many patients.’

Fair Pricing Coalition Condemns Gilead Sciences on the High Price of New Hepatitis C Drug Sovaldi™, and Urges Rapid and Wide Dissemination of Support Program Details for Uninsured and Underinsured People Living with Hepatitis C
‘The Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) today condemned Gilead Sciences for the price set for its direct acting antiviral (DAA) Sovaldi™ (sofosbuvir), a once–daily, first–in–class nucleotide polymerase inhibitor approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on December 6, 2013, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, including those co–infected with HIV. While FPC believes that all hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs are priced too high, the coalition of HIV and viral hepatitis treatment activists is especially dismayed by the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC) of $84,000 for a 12-week course of Sovaldi™. For comparison purposes, the FPC notes the 12-week WAC for the recently approved NS3/4A protease inhibitor Olysio&8482; (simeprevir) is $66,360.’

Fair Pricing Coalition Disappointed by the High Price of New Janssen Hepatitis C Drug Olysio (simeprevir)

‘The Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) today expressed disappointment at the price Janssen Therapeutics set for Olysio (simeprevir), a second generation protease inhibitor (PI) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on November 22, 2013 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) in genotype 1 patients.’

Screening available for HCV Q80K polymorphism
‘An enhanced version of Laboratory Corp. of America’s HCV GenoSure NS3/4 test capable of determining whether patients have the hepatitis C virus Q80K polymorphism is now available, the company said in a news release’

Hepatitis C virus dried on inanimate surfaces can remain infectious for up to six weeks
‘Dried spots of blood contaminated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) can remain infectious for up to six weeks at normal room temperatures, research published in the online edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases shows.’

EASL publishes revised clinical practice guidelines to optimise the management of hepatitis C virus
‘The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) today publishes their revised Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) on the management of hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) (1). The EASL guidelines, which supersede the previous version published in 2011, are designed to help physicians and other healthcare providers optimise their management of patients with acute and chronic HCV.’

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Enrollment in a Phase II All–Oral Combination Study of Samatasvir (IDX719), Simeprevir, and TMC647055 for the Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection
‘Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. /quotes/zigman/90571/delayed/quotes/nls/idix IDIX +2.84% , a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases, today announced the initiation of patient enrollment in the phase II HELIX–2 clinical trial evaluating an all-oral, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) HCV combination regimen of samatasvir, Idenix's once–daily pan–genotypic NS5A inhibitor, simeprevir, a once–daily NS3/4A protease inhibitor jointly developed by Janssen R&D Ireland and Medivir AB, and TMC647055, a once–daily NS5B non–nucleoside polymerase inhibitor boosted with low–dose ritonavir developed by Janssen.’

Week Ending December 1, 2013

Key part of hepatitis C virus pictured in great detail
‘Scientists have determined the most detailed picture yet of a crucial part of the hepatitis C virus, which the virus uses to infect liver cells. The findings can bring an effective hepatitis C vaccine closer to reality. Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) focused on a protein known as E2 envelope glycoprotein.’

Experts for use of sterilized tools to prevent hepatitis C
‘LAHORE: Health experts on Thursday cautioned that government might not win a battle against the spread of Hepatitis C virus in Pakistan until the use, reuse and misuse of syringes continue across the country. In a public awareness seminar on hepatitis C held here at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Thursday, Pakistan’s leading liver and gastroenterology physician and Principal Gujranwala Medical College Gujranwala, Prof Aftab Moshin said out of country’s 200 million, an estimated 16 to 148 million are infected with various forms of hepatitis viruses.’

Low SVR rates observed in HCV/HIV patients assigned peginterferon/ribavirin in clinical practice
‘WASHINGTON — With liver disease now the leading cause of death among patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C, treatment of the HCV coinfection should be a key part of the care of HIV-infected patients, a speaker said here.’

New hep C treatments set to overturn US market, says study
‘The upcoming US market launches of two new hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments will result in current triple– and dual–therapy regimens losing considerable market share, according to new research from BioTrends Research Group.’

J&J HCV drug OK'd; educational push planned
‘Janssen's hepatitis C drug Olysio (simeprevir) scored FDA approval Friday evening, kicking off a new wave of hepatitis C drugs. It offers modest benefit over standard of care, but a subgroup of patients has encountered resistance, and the med could have trouble catching on as newer antivirals become more broadly available for treating the liver–destroying disease.’

Week Ending November 24, 2013

OLYSIO™ (simeprevir) Receives FDA Approval for Combination Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C
‘Janssen Therapeutics, Division of Janssen Products, LP (Janssen), announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved OLYSIO™ (simeprevir), an NS3/4A protease inhibitor, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection as part of an antiviral treatment regimen in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in genotype 1 infected adults with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis. OLYSIO™ may benefit patients with chronic hepatitis C, including those who are treatment naive or who have failed prior interferon–based therapy.’

The Next Wave of Agents for Treatment of Hepatitis C
‘For several years, the recommended standard of care for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection consisted of a combination of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV). On the basis of understanding of the biology of the virus and identification of proteins involved in HCV replication came the development of agents that inhibited the HCV protease and polymerase enzymes.’

Antidepressant prophylaxis failed to improve HCV treatment completion
‘Prophylactic antidepressant use did not boost interferon-based treatment completion in patients with hepatitis C infection, according to the results of a recent literature review. Depression rates associated with interferon-based therapy could be as high as 30%, which makes antidepressant prophylaxis an attractive proposition, but there is "no clear indication that the prophylactic strategy generally serves to boost treatment completion, compared to a monitor-and-rescue strategy," according to study researcher Paul J. Rowan, PhD, MPH, of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston School of Public Health.’

HCV reinfection, spontaneous clearance high among injection drug users
‘Researchers from Australia reported a high rate of hepatitis C virus reinfection and spontaneous clearance of reinfection among injection drug users, suggesting that the patients may have acquired a partial immunity to the virus.’

HCC-based transplants straining donor pool, speaker says
‘The increase in the number of hepatocellular carcinoma patients in the United States being wait-listed for transplant is leading to a greater incidence of wait-listing for all individuals with hepatitis C, a speaker said here.’

Results of SAPPHIRE-1 Study Announced for All-Oral Hepatitis C Regimen
‘Enanta announced results from the SAPPHIRE–I study, for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1(GT1) infection using a regimen containing Enanta’s protease inhibitor ABT-450. ABT-450 is part of AbbVie's investigational three direct–acting antiviral (3D) regimen, consisting of boosted protease inhibitor ABT-450/ritonavir, NS5A inhibitor ABT–267, and non–nucleoside polymerase inhibitor ABT-333.’

Week Ending November 17, 2013

Sofosbuvir, ribavirin therapy after liver transplant shows positive results for HCV patients
‘WASHINGTON – Combined sofosbuvir and ribavirin therapy to treat established recurrent hepatitis C infection after liver transplant has proven successful in preliminary results, according to research presented by Michael R. Charlton, MD, in a late–breaking abstract at The Liver Meeting. The ongoing single–arm, open–label interferon–free pilot study enrolled 40 naive and treatment–experienced patients with recurrent HCV infection of any genotype after liver transplantation.’

Successful hepatitis C treatment reduces risk of liver cancer and death, but most remain untreated
‘Hepatitis C treatment that leads to viral suppression significantly reduces the likelihood of liver disease progression and liver–related mortality, but most people with hepatitis C remain untreated, according to a presentation at The Liver Meeting 2013, the 64th annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), last week in Washington, DC.’

Women have higher rate of spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C virus
‘A study of patients infected with acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection found that women had higher rates of spontaneous viral clearance–undetectable levels of the virus without initiating drug therapy. Findings published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, indicate that the gene IL28B (rs12979860) and HCV genotype 1 are also independent predictors of spontaneous HCV clearance.’

Hepatitis C Viral Suppression Reduces Liver Morbidity, Death
‘Washington, DC – Achieving an undetectable hepatitis C viral load is associated with decreased liver morbidity and death, a large observational study using Veterans Affairs (VA) data finds. "New therapies are needed to increase treatment rates and increase treatment effectiveness," said Jeffrey McCombs, PhD, from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy in Los Angeles. Dr. McCoombs presented the results here at The Liver Meeting 2013. The findings were simultaneously published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.’

Rising Deaths from Hepatitis C Spur City Action
‘Although the Hepatitis C epidemic receives less than three percent of the federal funding given to the fight against HIV/AIDS, it is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States today–and the deadliest. Since 2007, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports, Hepatitis C (HCV) deaths in the nation have been increasing yearly and have surpassed those from HIV/AIDS. Nationwide, of an estimated 4 million infected with HCV–almost four times the number believed to be infected by HIV/AIDS—around 85 percent are chronic carriers of the virus. Because 80 percent of infections don’t show signs for decades, treatment for HCV is often delayed, allowing the virus to replicate and undermine liver function.’

SSRIs may reduce treatment-associated depression in HCV patients
‘Prophylactic use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may significantly reduce the incidence of depression associated with pegylated interferon alfa-2a or 2b with ribavirin combination treatment for chronic hepatitis C, researchers from China reported. Although pegylated interferon alfa–2a or alfa 2b (Peg–IFN a–2a or a–2b) with ribavirin is considered to be the most effective regimen for chronic hepatitis, the treatment is associated with “an approximately 70% incidence of mild to moderate depressive syndromes and 20% to 40% incidence of major depression” in patients with HCV infection, according to the researchers.’

Boehringer Ingelheim’s interferon-free hepatitis C treatment portfolio strengthened by promising Phase II data
‘BURLINGTON, ON, Nov. 11, 2013 /CNW/ – Interim data presented recently show that all patients (13/13) who reached their 4–weeks post–treatment follow–up have undetectable levels of hepatitis C virus (SVR4) after completing a 12–week treatment with faldaprevir*, deleobuvir*, PPI–668* and ribavirin.iv These data from Boehringer Ingelheim’s ongoing Phase II collaborative trial with Presidio Pharmaceuticals were presented on Monday during the ‘Late–Breaking Posters’ session at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), which took place in Washington, D.C.’

Late relapse after SVR may not be new HCV infection
‘Patients with hepatitis C who relapse after achieving sustained virological response may be having a relapse of the initial infection rather than a reinfection with a different strain, recent data published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggest. “In a few people, hepatitis C has found a sanctuary site and can remain dormant for a length of time,” Theo Heller, MD, chief of the translational hepatology unit at the Liver Diseases Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases at the NIH, told Infectious Disease News.’

Will The New Hepatitis C Drugs Trigger A Battle Over Cost?
‘As excitement mounts among physicians and investors over a new batch of drugs for treating hepatitis C, there is also concern that patients in developing countries may not have sufficient access due to high prices. But a recent poster presentation at a medical conference suggests that drug makers can produce these new medicines for relatively little cost and should be compelled to do so.’

Week Ending November 10, 2013

UPDATED: Merck's 'breakthrough' hep C combo plays catch-up with promising PhII results
“Merck may be playing catch-up in the race to develop the first all-oral combo treatment for hepatitis C, but it made a good case over the weekend that it has a real contender in the pipeline. And the pharma giant has caught the attention of at least one prominent analyst who now sees a potential blockbuster in the making. Merck ($MRK) currently markets Victrelis (boceprevir) for hepatitis C. But it's seeing declining revenue--$502 million last year--as doctors warehouse their patients in anticipation of a new standard of care that will eliminate the need for interferon, which often has harsh side effects.”

Bristol seeks Japan approval of all-oral hepatitis C treatment
“Bristol-Myers Squibb Co has filed with Japanese health regulators seeking approval of its experimental all-oral combination of hepatitis C treatments, the U.S. drugmaker said on Saturday.

The submission with Japan's Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency marks the first time that any drugmaker has filed for approval of a hepatitis C treatment regimen that does not include either of the standard older treatments - the injected, difficult-to-tolerate interferon, or ribavirin, a pill.”

More HCV Patients on Transplant Lists
WASHINGTON – “An increasing number of patients on liver transplant waiting lists have hepatitis C (HCV), researchers found. But the increase is almost entirely due to an increasing number of HCV patients wait-listed for transplant because of hepatocellular cancer (HCC), according to Jennifer Flemming, MD, of Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.”

Risk-based screening misses hepatitis C in many pregnant women
WASHINGTON – ‘Programs to screen pregnant women for hepatitis C infection could go far to reduce a host of adverse outcomes, according to an analysis of a large national sample. "Targeted HCV screening may overlook many pregnant women with chronic HCV infections, and that may contribute to the underdiagnosis of pediatric hepatitis C in the United States," study investigator Dr. Po–Hung Chen said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. "Chronic hepatitis C is associated with adverse maternal/fetal consequences. In light of these findings, there seems to be a need to further evaluate universal hepatitis C screening as a part of antepartum care," he added.’

Knowledge of HCV status influences equipment-sharing in IDUs
“Injection drug users who knew they had hepatitis C were more likely to share their injection equipment with those who also had hepatitis C, researchers from the CDC have found. “Serosorting is said to occur when viral serostatus serves as a determining factor in a person’s choice of sex or drug-injecting partners and in the selection of behaviors stemming from that choice,” the researchers reported in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. “While serosorting has been used most notably to describe the sexual choices of [men who have sex with men], researchers have found similar trends among [injection drug users].” The researchers used data from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System-Injection Drug Users study conducted between September and December 2009. For this study, 9,690 were included because they had self–reported their HCV status and the HCV status of their last injection equipment-sharing partner in the past 12 months.”

Sofosbuvir and Ribavirin Fare Well Among HIV-HCV Coinfected
“An all-oral, interferon-free, 12- or 24-week regimen of sofosbuvir and ribavirin cured between 67 and 88 percent of those coinfected with HIV and genotypes 1, 2 or 3 of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a recent advanced trial. Representatives from Gilead Sciences presented findings from the “PHOTON-1” Phase III open-label study of the nucleotide analogue sofosbuvir at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in Washington, DC. In one arm of the study, 114 coinfected participants with genotype 1 of hep C received 24 weeks of therapy. Seventy-six percent (87) achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure).”

Interferon-Free HCV Tx Benefits Mentally Ill
WASHINGTON – “Hepatitis C (HCV) patients with mental comorbidities, such as depression or bipolar disorder, can be successfully treated with an interferon–free drug regimen, a phase II trial showed.
The combination of ribavirin and the investigational agent sofosbuvir was equally effective in patients with and without significant mental health disorders, according to Amy Nelson, RN, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md.”

AGA publishes tool to help GIs manage HCV patients
“The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Clinical Decision Tool for the Screening and Evaluation of Hepatitis C (HCV) will help gastroenterologists in the early management of HCV–positive patients, according to a new paper in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. Chronic HCV has a significant impact on the adult population and is a disease for which much progress has been made in its treatment.”

Hepatitis C tsunami imminent
“Hepatitis C virus is an emerging public health tsunami that can affect any Canadian at the prime of life. Testing for HCV is critical, however, diagnosing new patients is only fuelling the storm. We need to do more to change the course of this disease. Specifically, we need to strengthen our focus on treating and curing more patients. Many patients who have already been diagnosed are not treated due to intense stigma and misconceptions about HCV, limited access to specialists and treatment, and fear of current therapies that are lengthy and difficult to tolerate with potentially serious side effects. Some patients have attempted treatment and failed, or abandoned treatment altogether. The health-care system can't afford to wait to treat these and many more patients. Delayed treatment leads to cirrhosis, cancer and liver transplants in a growing number of patients.”

Sofosbuvir taken before or after liver transplant reduces hepatitis C recurrence
“An interferon–free combination of sofosbuvir plus ribavirin administered before liver transplantation prevented hepatitis C recurrence in nearly two–thirds of patients, while the same regimen led to early viral clearance in three–quarters of those treated after transplantation, according to studies presented this week at The Liver Meeting 2013, the 64th annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in Washington, DC. Over years or decades chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can cause advanced liver disease including cirrhosis and liver cancer, and hepatitis C is a leading indication for liver transplantation. Hepatitis C patients awaiting liver transplants are in dire need of treatment but often cannot tolerate interferon-based therapy. Left untreated, HCV almost always infects the new liver soon after transplantation, which can lead to cirrhosis, graft failure and death.”

Triple therapy with sofosbuvir yields high SVR rates among cirrhotic patients with HCV
WASHINGTON – “Eric J. Lawitz, MD, of the Texas Liver Institute at the University of Texas, San Antonio, discusses the results of the LONESTAR–2 trial, presented during the Late–Breaking Abstract session at the Liver Meeting 2013. The study evaluated the efficacy of 400 mg daily sofosbuvir with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for 12 weeks in a cohort of patients with hepatitis C genotype 2 and 3 who had failed previous therapy with peginterferon and ribavirin, including patients with and without cirrhosis. The cohort had a sustained virologic response rate of 89%, with high response rates observed among patients with and without cirrhosis. Two virologic failures occurred, both among patients with HCV genotype 3, including one cirrhotic patient and one without cirrhosis. Nearly all patients experienced adverse events, but the incidence of events did not increase compared with therapy containing peginterferon and ribavirin alone.”

ED screening identifies previously undiagnosed patients with HCV
WASHINGTON – “A screening program implemented in an emergency department resulted in the identification of a large number of previously undiagnosed patients with hepatitis C, according to data presented at The Liver Meeting. Researchers evaluated the results from an integrated, opt–out HCV screening model implemented at the ED of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. All eligible participants were born between 1945 and 1965, medically and surgically stable and capable of responding to a brief questionnaire assessing whether previous HCV screening had been performed and, if so, the results. The primary endpoint was previously unrecognized HCV infection within this population. Patients who agreed to screening underwent an HCV antibody assay (Abbott Architect i1000). Those who tested positive underwent a further assessment of HCV RNA, without genotyping. The researchers presented early, 6–week data, collected between Sept. 3 and Oct. 17, 2013, on the results of this screening at the meeting.”

Week Ending November 3, 2013

Gilead Announces New Sustained Viral Response Data for Sofosbuvir-Based Regimens in Genotype 3-Infected Hepatitis C Patients
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD) today announced results from two studies, the Phase 3 VALENCE study and the Phase 2 LONESTAR-2 study, evaluating the investigational once-daily nucleotide analogue sofosbuvir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among patients infected with genotype 3 HCV. These data will be presented this week at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (The Liver Meeting 2013) taking place in Washington, D.C.

Assessing the Global and Regional Burden of Liver Disease
Presented November 3, 2013, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2013  – /PRNewswire/  – Researchers from Australia presented their research on the underlying causes of liver cancer and cirrhosis deaths at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, concluding that these two diseases result in 1.75 million deaths each year. Viral hepatitis caused two thirds of those deaths. "If you consider deaths from hepatitis B and C together, said Benjamin Cowie, MBBS, PhD, FRACP, "the Global Burden of Death Study (GBD) 2010 estimates around 1.3 million people lost their lives to these infections, which is comparable to the respective burdens of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria."

Merck Announces Presentation of Interim Data from Study of Investigational Combination of HCV Therapies MK-5172 and MK-8742 at the 2013 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Annual Meeting
Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, announced interim results from an ongoing Phase II clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of an all-oral regimen combining once–daily MK-5172, an investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitor, and MK-8742, an investigational HCV NS5A replication complex inhibitor, with or without twice–daily ribavirin, administered for 12 weeks to treatment-naïve, non-cirrhotic patients with genotype 1a and 1b HCV infection, the C-WORTHY Study. The interim results show that the administration of MK-5172 and MK-8742 in combination is associated with a sustained virologic response (lack of detectable and quantifiable HCV virus) 12 weeks following the end of study therapy (SVR12). Merck previously announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to MK-5172/MK-8742 for treatment of chronic HCV infection.

BMS Submits First All-Oral, Interferon-Free and Ribavirin-Free Treatment Regimen for Regulatory Review in Japan for Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Infection
An overall SVR24 rate of 84.7% was achieved in Phase III study of daclatasvir (DCV) and asunaprevir (ASV) in high unmet need genotype 1b patient population

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company /quotes/zigman/220498/delayed/quotes/nls/bmy BMY +0.68% today announced the submission of a New Drug Application (NDA) to Japan's Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency seeking the world's first interferon-free and ribavirin-free treatment regimen for patients with chronic hepatitis C.

AASLD-Boehringer Ingelheim's interferon-free hepatitis C treatment portfolio strengthened by promising Phase II data
Interim data presented today show that all patients (13/13) who reached their 4-week post-treatment follow-up have undetectable levels of hepatitis C virus (SVR4) after completing a 12-week regimen of faldaprevir*, deleobuvir*, PPI-668* and ribavirin.1 These data from Boehringer Ingelheim’s ongoing Phase II collaborative trial with Presidio Pharmaceuticals will be presented on Monday during the ‘Late-Breaking Posters’ session at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), taking place in Washington, D.C.

Veterans Affairs Research Supports CDC Recommendation to Screen Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C
In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a one-time screening for all Americans born between 1945 and 1965. It is estimated that 1 in 30 baby boomers has been infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and most don’t know it. HCV is a serious liver disease including liver cancer, which is the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths and the leading cause of liver transplants in the US.

Cautious endorsement for Quicker-Acting Hepatitis C Drug
Advisers to the US FDA, the Federal authority which regulates the sale and distribution of different drugs in US has voted unanimously in the favor of Hepatitis C drug made by Gilead Sciences. The Advisers are composed of a panel of 15 members who are all experts on virus. The panel has voted unanimously for the approval of the drug Sofosbuvir which treats several form of the disease.

Testing for Hepatitis C - The Importance for People With Cancer
I know it's kind of off the topic, but you may have been hearing the news about testing for hepatitis C.

Officials Wage War Against Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C-related deaths are on the rise. Last year, around 750 city residents died of the disease.

Studies: Current hepatitis C treatments can't be used by more than half of patients; others lose opportunity for treatment
DETROIT – More than half of chronic hepatitis C patients studied in a new research project led by Henry Ford Hospital were not treated for the potentially fatal disease, either because they couldn't withstand current therapies or because they, or their doctors, were waiting for new treatments.

Hepatitis C: Special Risks for Women
Hepatitis C is preventable and curable but, an expert tells us, it still poses special risks for women and children. Knowing whether we have a hepatitis C viral infection is especially important for us women, because we can unintentionally pass this dangerous virus on to loved ones or a newborn child.

Week Ending October 20, 2013

Bristol-Myers Squibb Finds a Novel Way of Treating Hepatitis C
“For those suffering from hepatitis C, or HCV, a new therapy that combines three different drugs treated about 90% of patients, according to preliminary results from a randomized, phase 2 clinical trial supported by Bristol-Myers Squibb . That's exciting news because this therapy doesn't rely on the standard course of treatment that has been used for years — a combination of pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin”

A New Era is Dawning in Hepatitis C Therapy
“The standard of care for Hepatitis C (HCV) radically changed when the first direct-acting antiviral agents hit the market two years ago. Prior to their approval, the standard of care consisted of painful interferon injections 3–5 times a week for up to 48 weeks. Worse still is the fact that only about 50% of patients are even responsive to interferon, and the injections tend to make patients feel like they have the flu throughout the course of treatment.”

Hepatitis C Drug Shows Promise in a Clinical Trial
“Danoprevir is an experimental drug that is being studied as a treatment for hepatitis C infection. Results of a phase 2 clinical trial are in — and they are promising”

BPS Bioscience, Inc. Announces HCV Profiling Service and New ...
“BPS Bioscience, Inc. (“BPS”) announces the addition of a panel of 6 protease enzymes for identifying small molecule inhibitors of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). These unique enzymes are also available for custom screening and profiling services.”

Deaths as a result of hepatitis C are 'totally avoidable'
“NOTTING HAMSHIRE has the fourth highest rate of the potentially deadly hepatitis C virus in the country. A doctor who works in Nottingham’s hospitals has hit out at public health officials and the Department of Health saying that patients are being "grossly let down".”

More investment in specialist nurses could help eradicate hepatitis C
“Hepatitis C could be eradicated in a generation if the government prioritized the condition and invested more in services including specialist nurses, a charity has claimed.”

Health officials probe hepatitis C outbreak in ND
MINOT, N.D. – “State and federal health officials are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis C cases in Ward County centered around a Minot nursing home. Three cases initially were identified in August, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. Since then, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked four additional cases to the first three.”

New EACS treatment guidelines strike balance between individual ...
“A new edition of the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) guidelines for the treatment of HIV, HIV and hepatitis C co–infection, and HIV with other co–morbidities were published in advance of the 14th European AIDS Conference currently meeting in Brussels and were presented and discussed at a special session yesterday.”

Week Ending October 13, 2013

Predicting response to acute hepatitis C treatment in HIV/HCV co-infected people
Patients requiring direct-acting antiviral likely to be older, have lower CD4 counts or high HCV viral load
“HIV/HCV co-infected people with higher HCV viral load, lower CD4 cell counts, older age and unfavourable IL28B status may not respond as well to interferon-based treatment for acute hepatitis C and may benefit from adding a direct-acting antiviral agent, researchers reported at the IDWeek 2013 meeting last week in San Francisco.”

Medivir AB : Medivir: Simeprevir data from COSMOS study in Hepatitis C patients will be presented as late-breaking presentation at AASLD
“Medivir AB announced that data from the phase IIa COSMOS study (Combination Of SiMeprevir and sOfosbuvir in HCV genotype 1 infected patientS) of the investigational protease inhibitor simeprevir (TMC435) administered once daily with Gilead's investigational nucleotide inhibitor sofosbuvir (GS-7977), with and without ribavirin, in genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C adult patients with compensated liver disease has been accepted as a late-breaking oral presentation at the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). AASLD will take place November 1 to 5 in Washington, D.C.”

New hepatitis C drug shows potential in phase 2 trials
Bethesda, MD – “The addition of danoprevir to the current treatment regimen for patients with hepatitis C leads to high rates of remission, according to a new article in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. The current standard of care for hepatitis C patients includes a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin.”

Investigational interferon-free regimen demonstrates undetectable hepatitis C virus in all patients reaching end of treatment in ongoing Phase 2 trial
“Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that interim data from its Phase 2 hepatitis C (HCV) clinical collaboration (NCT01859962) with Presidio Pharmaceuticals have been accepted as a late breaker poster presentation at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), also known as The Liver Meeting®, taking place November 1-5 in Washington, D.C.  The poster presentation will be on Monday, November 4.”

J&J buys GSK hep. C compound, BI completes trial enrollment
“GlaxoSmithKline sold its investigational hepatitis C NS5a replication complex inhibitor to Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen. The J&J unit said in a statement it plans to use Phase II GSK2336805 in interferon-free combinations with its in-house drug simeprevir and its non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor known as TMC647055. Simeprevir is expected to go before an FDA advisory panel later this month.”

PCDOH Announces Expanded Services to Screen for Hepatitis C
Brewster, NY – “Hepatitis C, a blood infection that causes liver disease, is on the rise, both in Putnam County and around the country. Today an estimated 4 million Americans are living with chronic Hep C. In order to screen for this potentially serious illness, the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) has expanded its services. A rapid screening test can be performed in the health department offices in approximately 20 minutes. Positive tests are then referred for confirmatory testing and treatment, which includes new, more effective medications.”

Interferon-free therapy alters lipid metabolism, glucose homeostasis in chronic HCV patients
SAN FRANCISCO – “Patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with an interferon-free regimen consisting of sofosbuvir and ribavirin experienced changes in LDL, triglycerides, hemoglobin A1C and metabolic and hepatic lipid gene expression in a study presented at ID Week 2013.”

Baby boomers urged to get tested for hepatitis C, which can lay dormant for years before causing serious health problems
“If you’re a baby boomer – born between 1945 and 1965 – you should be tested for hepatitis C, according to a recommendation from the federal Centers for Disease Control.”

NYC launches initiative to control hepatitis C prevalence in the city
“New York City Department of Health - The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Monday announced the launch of an initiative to combat Hepatitis C infection, a disease which now accounts for more annual deaths than HIV/AIDS.”

Week Ending September 29, 2013

Achillion’s Hepatitis C Drug Still on Hold by U.S. FDA
“Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACHN) said U.S. regulators are keeping the company’s experimental hepatitis C drug sovaprevir on hold because of abnormal liver results. The shares plunged 45 percent in extended trading.”

Danoprevir improved SVR rate from peginterferon/ribavirin therapy in HCV patients
“Patients with hepatitis C genotype 1 treated with danoprevir in addition to pegylated interferon and ribavirin experienced high rates of sustained virologic response, but high danoprevir doses were linked to severe ALT increases in a recent study.”

Japan Approves Simeprevir for Chronic HCV Infection
“Medivir AB reported that Janssen Pharmaceutical R&D Ireland (Janssen) has been informed by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) that simeprevir has been approved for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.”

GSK's Revolade cleared for use in hepatitis C therapy
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has secured EU approval for its platelet-boosting drug Revolade in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), setting up a potential leap forward in sales.

“The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has given a green light for Revolade (eltrombopag) to treat adult HCV patients in whom thrombocytopenia is interfering with the use of interferon alfa–based therapies.”

Tainted tells story of Canada’s blood scandal through affected family’s eyes
TORONTO – “It’s been called one of the worst public health crises in Canadian history — the contaminated blood scandal that left more than 1,000 Canadians infected with HIV and another 30,000 with hepatitis C. Some contracted both.”

OSAP offers hepatitis C prevention information toolkit
“In light of last week’s announcement of the first documented patient-to-patient transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a dental practice, the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) is offering some members-only resources to the broader dental community to help support compliance efforts for safe infection prevention practices.”

Patient Profile: Baby Boomer Living With Hepatitis C
The rising rates of hepatitis C among baby boomers have led to the recommendation that all boomers be tested. With early detection and treatment, hepatitis C can often be cured.

“When Texas resident Barbara Day was diagnosed with hepatitis C in her early forties, it took her completely by surprise. She had no symptoms. But apparently she had become infected at age 20 from a blood transfusion that saved her life after she'd been shot. She didn't discover this for two decades – until learning of her condition when donating blood.”

Waistlines Tied to Liver Stiffness in Women With Hep C
“Women living with hepatitis C are more inclined to have liver stiffness if they have larger waistlines, Healio.com reports. Those with hep C and HIV coinfection are also more likely to have liver stiffness than those with just HIV. Reporting their findings in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, investigators measured the liver stiffness of women from the multicenter, prospective Women’s Interagency HIV Study between November 2010 and April 2012. The cohort included 165 women with HIV, 14 with hep C, 78 with both viruses and 57 with neither virus.”

Week Ending September 22, 2013

Patient Profile: Living With Childhood Hepatitis C
“A Texas couple shares the story of their child with hepatitis C. Learn about precautions they take as well as treatment that holds the promise of a cure. When Frances and Terry Perryman, of Spring, Texas, adopted their son Austin, they knew his mother had tested positive for hepatitis C. However, "because only a small percent of children get hepatitis C from their mother, we thought the odds were in our favor," says Frances.”

End-stage liver disease, HCC common in patients with HCV, bleeding disorders
“Patients with hepatitis C and inherited bleeding disorders frequently developed end–stage liver disease, with advanced age, HIV coinfection and alcohol abuse significantly increasing their risk in a recent study.”

Hepatitis: Understanding the Enemy
“According to the World Hepatitis Alliance, globally, one in every 12 people is living with hepatitis, and the majority of those infected are unaware of their status.”

Women Spontaneously Clear Hep C Better Than Men
“Spontaneous clearance of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV)–when viral levels drop to undetectable without drug treatment during the early phase of infection–is twice as likely to occur in women than in men. Publishing their findings in the journal Hepatology, researchers drew data from the InC3 Study, which is a collaboration of nine prospective studies from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States. The participants of this analysis included 632 people with acute hep C who were recruited for the InC3 Study between 1985 and 2010.”

Patients with recurrent HCV benefit from triple therapy after liver transplant
Triple therapy was effective in a cohort of liver transplant recipients with recurrent hepatitis C, although adverse events were common in a recent study.

“In a multicenter cohort study in France, researchers evaluated 37 patients with recurrent hepatitis C genotype 1 who underwent liver transplantation (LT) and received triple therapy with either boceprevir (n=18) or telaprevir (n=19) in addition to pegylated interferon and ribavirin, for a median of 41 weeks. The cohort included 18 patients who were treatment naive and five who had relapsed and 14 who had been nonresponsive during prior dual therapy after transplantation. Patients received calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) therapy with cyclosporine (n=22) or tacrolimus (n=15).”

Drug therapy offers new hope to hepatitis C patients
Troy – “A new drug regimen for liver transplant patients — tried for the first time ever at the University of Michigan Hospital — could bring hope to millions of hepatitis C suffers and the man who received the initial treatment has made it his mission to educate the public about the disease.”

Week Ending September 15, 2013

Drug therapy offers new hope to hepatitis C patients
Troy – “A new drug regimen for liver transplant patients – tried for the first time ever at the University of Michigan Hospital — could bring hope to millions of hepatitis C suffers and the man who received the initial treatment has made it his mission to educate the public about the disease.”

Sofosbuvir Shows Promise in Difficult-To-Treat Hep C Patients
“The experimental drug sofosbuvir (Gilead Sciences), in combination with ribavirin, showed promising results in a single-center, randomized open-label Phase II trial of 60 patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1. The interferon-free, 24-week, oral regimen was safe and well tolerated, and resulted in a sustained virologic response (SVR) rate of 68% in patients who received a weight-based dose of ribavirin and 48% in patients who received low-dose ribavirin. The study was published in the Aug. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (2013;310:804-811).”

HIV and hepatitis risk for steroid users
“People who inject anabolic steroids and tanning drugs are at a higher risk of HIV and viral hepatitis, a study from Public Health England (PHE) has revealed.”

Targeted HCV screening effectively identified infected former drug users
“A hepatitis C screening program targeted toward former injection drug users was effective in identifying infected participants in a recent study.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Expands Investigation of Interferon-free Hepatitis C Treatment Regimens to Reach More Patient Types through Presidio Pharmaceuticals Clinical Collaboration
First Phase 2a study includes Presidio's PPI-668 in genotype-1a infected patients; collaboration offers the potential to explore additional HCV genotypes in future trials, Boehringer Ingelheim's Phase 3 interferon-free HCVerso® trials in genotype-1b

“Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the completion of patient enrollment for a Phase 2a clinical trial (NCT01859962) investigating a new interferon-free, all-oral, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) combination treatment for patients with genotype-1a chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This trial is conducted in collaboration with Presidio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and evaluates Boehringer Ingelheim's investigational compounds, the protease inhibitor faldaprevir (BI 201335) and non-nucleoside NS5B polymerase inhibitor, deleobuvir (BI 207127), in combination with Presidio's investigational pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor, PPI-668, with and without ribavirin.”

Treated patients with HCV incur lower health care costs
“Regardless of disease stage or the presence of comorbidities, patients with chronic HCV who received anti–HCV therapy had lower health care costs than untreated patients in a recent study.”

Week Ending September 8, 2013

Hepatitis C: Facing A Threat Head-On
“Up to 5 million Americans suffer from an often symptomless – but potentially serious – liver infection called hepatitis C. Many are surprised to learn it affects four times as many people as the number of people with HIV. Three out of four people infected with hepatitis C in the United States are baby boomers – those born between 1945 and 1965. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends all baby boomers be tested once for hepatitis C.”

Celebrating Advances in the Battle Against Hepatitis C
“This disease is a killer. And now it was coming after the ones closest to me. So many great people have been lost. Most never even knew they had the disease. But now, at last, it looks like they have this monster on the ropes and there is tremendous reason for celebration.”

Medicare/Medicaid May Cover Hepatitis C Screening As Preventive Service; Obamacare Next?
(CNSNews.com) – “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to make screening for Hepatitis C in adults part of the preventive services it covers. And free screening under Obamacare may come eventually.”

Billboard Warns Baby Boomers To Get Hepatitis C Tests
Greensboro, NC – “A new billboard is popping up in Greensboro to urge one generation to get tested for Hepatitis C.”

Study Examines Ways to Restore Immunity to Chronic Hepatitis C Infection
Columbus, OH – “The hepatitis C virus hijacks the body”s immune system, leaving T cells unable to function. A new study in animal models suggests that blocking a protein that helps the virus thrive could restore immune function, allowing the body to fight infection. The work, led by teams at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Emory University, was published online Aug. 26 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

New drug combo shows promise for tough cases of hepatitis C
“Combining an old drug with an experimental one may cure many cases of hard-to-treat hepatitis C — without the harsh side effects of the standard regimen, a U.S. government study finds.”

Week Ending September 1, 2013

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Academia, and Industry Team Up to Improve Hepatitis C Treatment
“A partnership between the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Hepatitis C Therapeutic Registry and Research Network (HCV-TARGET), and the pharmaceutical industry could facilitate better treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV)–infected people and improve HCV drug development programs.”

FDA Approves Genotyping Test for Patients With HCV
“The FDA has approved a test that identifies the genotype of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in infected patients. Manufactured by Abbott Molecular Inc., the Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II test can differentiate between HCV genotypes 1, 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4 and 5 using a sample of blood plasma or serum.”

New drug combo shows promise for tough cases of hepatitis C
“Combining an old drug with an experimental one may cure many cases of hard-to-treat hepatitis C — without the harsh side effects of the standard regimen, a U.S. government study finds.”

New protease inhibitors showing promise for HIV/HCV coinfection
“This is an exciting time in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infections. As opposed to the antibiotic pipeline, there are a number of new antiviral agents for treatment of hepatitis C in development that may transform the way these patients are treated.”

RVR, baseline characteristics identify patients who will benefit from dual HCV therapy
“A model incorporating IL28B genotype, fibrosis stage, viral load and rapid virologic response was predictive of benefit from dual therapy among patients with chronic hepatitis C in a recent study.”

New drugs cure Hepatitis C without side effects
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) – “Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne viral infection in the US, affecting more than 4 million people. The deadly disease can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Now there is a new era of Hepatitis C drugs that could cure the disease, without side effects.”

Hepatitis C a growing local problem
MUNCIE – “Baby boomers may want to request one more test from their doctors during their next yearly physical, for Hepatitis C.”

Studies: Marijuana May Help Hepatitis C Sufferers
“Hepatitis C is an often-fatal viral disease of the liver afflicting about four million Americans. Chronic hepatitis C infection causes fatigue, depression, joint pain and liver impairment, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.”

Hep C rise baffles experts in Nova Scotia
Infection spread by blood contact damages the liver

“Hepatitis C rates are increasing in Nova Scotia and experts say more education is needed to combat the disease.”

Hepatitis C response bill altered
Mandatory employee drug testing eliminated

CONCORD – “While two bills filed in response to the Exeter Hospital hepatitis C crisis are moving forward, one will progress with a drastically different look.”

Week Ending August 25, 2013

Expect miracles: New drug for hepatitis C may put treatment in the hands of primary care
ESTES PARK, COLO. – “Treatment of hepatitis C infection is likely to shift from gastroenterology and hepatology clinics to primary care physicians’ offices, perhaps as early as next year.”

To curb disease, program to give free drug needles
CARSON CITY, Nev. “The statistics are shocking: Seventy percent of illegal-injection drug users will contract hepatitis C from the use of dirty needles. About 10 percent will acquire HIV.”

Pharmac to fund new Hepatitis C drug
New Zealand – “A "life changing" new drug designed to treat the hepatitis C virus can almost treble the cure rate for patients.”

Men: Youthful folly may cause serious disease
WASHINGTON, August 19. 2013 – “Men, there is a major disease coming to a neighborhood near you and if it’s not already there, it may strike your home in spades very soon. Your days of sun and fun as a youth may be the carrier to serious trouble. This trouble has a name: hepatitis C (hep-C). Yes, females get it too but in much smaller numbers.”

Mental, physical health, fatigue worsened by antiviral therapy, anemia in HCV
“Patients with chronic hepatitis C, particularly those with anemia, experienced significantly impaired mental and physical health and worsened fatigue symptoms while on antiviral therapy, with improvement coming at treatment completion in a recent study.”

Boomers Are At A Higher Risk Of Being Infected With Virus

Kentucky – “Many baby boomers are carrying around a silent threat to their livers without knowing it.”

Hepatitis C Survivor Encourages People to Get Tested
“He's been running marathons and triathlons for years, and before 2006 he had no idea he had contracted hepatitis C.”

Week Ending August 18, 2013

New drug duo for hepatitis C
An experimental drug duo may cure cases of hepatitis C, without the side effects of standard therapy, a new clinical trial suggests.

An experimental drug duo may cure some cases of the liver disease hepatitis C, without the severe side effects of standard therapy, a new clinical trial suggests.

For patients with hepatitis C virus, treatment with faldaprevir and deleobuvir plus ribavirin is effective, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Doctors Say 'Boomers' Balk at Vital Tests

LAKELAND ¦ A year after federal health authorities urged all baby boomers to get tested for hepatitis C, there's resistance to that push.

Yourwellness Magazine Follows Up New NICE Hepatitis C Treatment Recommendation
In draft guidance published on the 18th of June, NICE recommended peginterferon alfa in combination with ribavirin as an option for treating chronic hepatitis C in children and young people.

Professor Carole Longson, NICE Health Technology Evaluation Centre Director, commented, “The independent Appraisal Committee concluded that treatment with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin can decrease the hepatitis C virus to undetectable levels, effectively providing the equivalent of a cure for the disease.

Greater awareness of hepatitis A, B and C needed
World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, is an international event to increase awareness of the dangers of viral hepatitis. Today, about 500 million people (one in 12 world-wide) are victims of viral hepatitis B or C with many unaware of its danger. It is a day to encourage people around the world, to adopt precautionary measures before it is too late.

CDC Says U.S. Has Improved in Detection of Hep C Infection
(HealthDay News) – Guidelines published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1998 to test people for hepatitis C infection (HCV) based on risk may have increased testing, but many people still did not get tested before showing signs of the infection, according to a report published in the Aug. 16 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Locations and Reasons for Initial Testing for Hepatitis C Infection — Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study, United States, 2006–2010
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes substantial morbidity and mortality in the United States (1). Testing and treatment of asymptomatic persons might avert progression to more advanced disease. In 1998, CDC published guidelines for HCV testing based on risk factors for infection; however, recent studies indicate that at least one half of all persons living with HCV infection in the United States are unaware of their infection status (2–4).

Week Ending August 11, 2013

N.H. lawmakers seek to be first to register medical technicians
CONCORD, N.H. – “New Hampshire could become the first state in the country to maintain a registry of licensed medical technicians, prompted by the case of a traveling technician dubbed as a "serial infector" because he had worked in hospitals in six other states before allegedly infecting dozens of people with hepatitis C in New Hampshire.”

Santa Cruz County needle exchange: 55,000 out, even more back
SANTA CRUZ – “A new county needle exchange program handed out nearly 30,000 needles during its first three months in operation, newly released county statistics show. And a privately run delivery service gave out 25,000 more.”

HCV viremic, aviremic individuals at risk for CKD
“Among people with HIV, those who were viremic and aviremic for hepatitis C were at increased risk for chronic kidney disease, compared with patients who were seronegative for the virus, researchers from Johns Hopkins University have found.”

Fake dentist bust leads to HIV and hepatitis health-alert for 1,500 Vancouver patients
VANCOUVER – “A health alert has been issued to about 1,500 Metro Vancouver patients who may have contracted HIV or hepatitis B or C through the poor cleaning practises of an illegal dentist.”

Hepatitis is a world and local health concern
ST. IGNATIUS – “We have all heard of it and we may know someone with the various strains of viral hepatitis. It is a preventable disease and the big step in prevention is to get vaccinated against hepatitis. The vaccines are readily available at the CSKT Tribal Health and Human Services Community Health Division at no charge to clients eligible for treaty–obligated healthcare services.”

Gender important in HCV clearance: study
“Women with hepatitis C are more than twice as likely to clear their infection spontaneously compared with men, according to Australian-led research.”

Week Ending August 4, 2013

With hepatitis C law looming, Putnam starts free testing program
Baby boomer generation targeted for screening

“Public health officials are hopeful a new hepatitis C testing program and a proposed screening law will help make more baby boomers take measures against the illness.”

Discrepancy found between HCV surveillance systems
“Recent data suggest a discrepancy between hepatitis C seroprevalence and the number of people reported in hepatitis registries in individual states, according to researchers from the New York State Department of Health.”

Hepatitis C: Ticking time bomb for baby boomers
“Let’s admit it. We baby boomers did some dumb stuff in our youth. And the risks we took because we thought we were bulletproof have sometimes produced consequences.”

FDA Approves Genotyping Test for Patients With Hepatitis C Virus Infection
“The FDA has approved a test that identifies the genotype of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in infected patients. Manufactured by Abbott Molecular Inc., the Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II test can differentiate between HCV genotypes 1, 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4 and 5 using a sample of blood plasma or serum. Knowledge of HCV genotype can aid physicians in determining the appropriate approach to treatment: Because different HCV genotypes respond differently to different drugs, knowing the HCV genotype can result in better patient outcomes.”

Cure for hepatitis C virus comes closer to reality
“Washington: Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have shown for the first time that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can replicate in monkeys, by differentiating monkey stem cells into liver cells and inducing successful infection.”

‘HCC-4 risk score’ IDs hepatitis C patients likely to develop HCC
“A risk score derived from four simple test results readily obtained during routine care may help identify the patients with chronic hepatitis C who are most at risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma, according to a retrospective study published online July 12 in the European Journal of Internal Medicine.”

July 31 Is Hepatitis C Testing Day in DC
The virus is a silent killer of Washingtonians.

“Washingtonians are extremely misinformed when it comes to hepatitis C, according to results from a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Genentech, found that 62 percent of baby boomers in DC have never been tested for the virus, despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend all boomers born from 1945 to 1965 get screened. In addition, 40 percent of those surveyed said they would rather admit to a DUI than to being infected with HCV.”

Groups sound alarm about hepatitis C
NANTUCKET – “To mark the Sixth World Hepatitis Day, which took place Sunday, a Nantucket health organization is offering a $10 Stop & Shop gift card to anybody who gets tested for hepatitis C today through Thursday.”

Week Ending July 28, 2013

Nantucket encourages hepatitis C testing through gift cards
NANTUCKET – “To mark the Sixth World Hepatitis Day, which took place today, a Nantucket health organization is offering a $10 Stop and Shop gift card to anybody who gets tested for hepatitis C Monday through Thursday.”

Sask. hep C rate twice national average
“Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of hepatitis C infection in Canada, according to Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province's chief medical health officer.”

Hepatitis C on the rise among boomers in Broward, Palm
Denial, fear and ignorance keep boomers from getting hep C tests

“A health crisis is barreling down on the free-love generation. Reported cases of hepatitis C, an infectious virus that is the leading cause of liver transplants and cancers, are skyrocketing among South Florida baby boomers this year, and public health officials are warning that everyone in this age group should consider themselves at risk.”

P.E.I. Hepatitis C increase linked to IV drug use
More younger Islanders becoming infected with virus

“A growing number of Islanders, particularly younger people, are contracting Hepatitis C, a jump that is directly linked to intravenous drug use in P.E.I, say health officials.”

Boomers urged to get tested for hepatitis C
Baby boomer generation urged to get screened for 'silent' liver disease

“Debra Walters didn't know she had a virus that could destroy her liver. Then she donated blood in 1992 and got a letter from the blood bank in the mail.”

Leading Liver and ID Experts to Develop Hepatitis C Practice Recommendations
“Recognizing the rapid development of hepatitis C medications coupled with increasing numbers of people being identified with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) are collaborating to develop clinical recommendations for the management of hepatitis C.”

Statement of Health Kalon on World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2013
“My Dear fellow Tibetans and friends,

The 28th of July 2013 marks the World Hepatitis Day. This day signifies the birthday of Professor Baruch Blumberg who was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in discovering the hepatitis B virus. The day is an annual event that provides international focus on awareness to people about this silent deadly disease and its prevention, screening, follow up diagnosis and treatment.”

World Hepatitis Day focuses attention on serious health risks
DALLAS – “Viral hepatitis does not discriminate. Patients may be young, old, male, female, rich, poor and of any ethnicity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis and most are not aware that they are infected. World Hepatitis Day, launched in 2008 by the World Hepatitis Alliance and observed annually on July 28, aims to raise awareness and influence improvement in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.”

Inaugural African American Hepatitis C Action Day: Get Tested, Get Treated and Get the Word Out
“In a recent post, I wrote about Hepatitis C, including the statistic that black Americans are twice as likely to be infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) as non–Hispanic white Americans. Baby Boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) are five times as likely as other adults to be infected, often without knowing it. The impact of HCV on our communities is severe, and the high rate of Hepatitis C among black Americans warrants action.”

Hepatitis C diagnoses treble
“New diagnoses of hepatitis C infection (HCV) have risen by more than a third in just two years, new reports show. The 10,873 cases mark the highest levels of new cases since records began in 2010.”

96,000 die every year due to Hepatitis C in India: Report
NEW DELHI: “Nearly 96,000 people die annually in India due to Hepatitis C, which has become a hidden epidemic and a silent killer, according to health activists.”

England Reports Increases In Hepatitis C Diagnoses
“With World Hepatitis Day just around the corner (July 28), Public Health England (PHE) released its annual hepatitis C report that reveals cases of Hepatitis C (HCV) have risen by one third.”

Hepatitis C on rise due to heroin use
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – “Erie County is seeing a marked increase in Hepatitis C and they believe the cause is used needles passed between heroin users.”

Hepatitis C on sharp rise in China
“Cases of hepatitis C are on the rise on the mainland, but many don't get proper treatment because they are unaware of their diagnosis, experts warned.”

Maribyrnong’s high hep C rate in focus
“MARIBYRNONG’S high rates of hepatitis C are being highlighted as part of Hepatitis Awareness Week (July 21-28).”

Plenty Of Room For Everyone In The Race To FDA Approval For New Hepatitis C Therapies
“The United States Preventive Services Task Force, or USPSTF, reversed its stance late on June 25 to conclude that all baby boomers – those people born between 1945 and 1965 - should be tested for hepatitis C. The USPSTF is an influential medical guidelines organization that advises Congress and, as its website reads, "makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services for patients without related signs or symptoms."”

Boston World Hepatitis Day: July 28
“A Boston community health event will take place with students from Harvard, MIT, Brown and Cambridge City Councilor Minka Van Beuzekom to address the high rate of hepatitis B and C infection among Boston’s Asian population. The effort is aimed at increasing awareness and education in the Boston community, especially among those of Asian descent on Sunday, July 28th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Chinatown Park (Rose Kennedy Greenway).”

Free, confidential Hepatitis C testing July 23-24
London Community News

“Hepatitis C is a virus that affects the liver; it is transmitted through blood–to–blood contact and may not produce symptoms for many years, or even decades, so people may be infected with the virus and not realize it.”

Week Ending July 21, 2013

More than 240 patients possibly exposed to HIV and Hepatitis at SEK hospital
Officials say warnings have been mailed to individual patients

TOPEKA – “About 240 people who had colonoscopies at a southeast Kansas hospital this year are being notified they might have been infected with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV, state and hospital officials said during a telephone press conference today.”

Citations Highlight Promising New Drugs For Hepatitis C Infection
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently revised its guidance on testing for infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Testing for anti–HCV, recommended for known at-risk groups for the past 15 years (and, in 2012, suggested as routine in the birth cohort 1945-65, the so-called “baby boomers”) does not distinguish between past and ongoing infection. The latest guidance includes tests for HCV RNA; these tests do make the distinction.”

The Burden of Liver Disease Increases
“According to a July 10, 2013 article published in the JAMA Journal of The American Medical Association, deaths from liver disease increased from 1990 to 2010. Liver disease also rose as a contributor to premature mortality.”

Occult, overt HBV coinfection predictive of outcomes from HCV-associated HCC
“Disease-free survival after surgical treatment of hepatitis C-associated hepatocellular carcinoma was significantly influenced by occult or overt hepatitis B coinfection in a recent study.”

Week Ending July 14, 2013

Simeprevir Shines in Hep C Trial
“The surprising efficacy of simeprevir triple therapy in patients who had relapsed after prior RBV plus PEG–IFN therapy, and in patients with advanced liver fibrosis, along with its once–daily dosing, minimal drug–drug interactions and good safety profile, make it likely the drug will be approved by the FDA for use in HCV patients,” said Dr. Gores, who was not involved in the research.

Marijuana not associated with liver disease progression in HIV/HCV coinfection
“A causal association is unlikely: hazard ratios were weak and most importantly were attenuated when accounting for temporality in the exposure–disease relationship and there was no dose–response relationship,” the researchers wrote. “It is likely that previous studies have been biased by reverse causality as patients use more marijuana to relieve symptoms as liver disease progresses.”

Boceprevir an option for patients with HIV and HCV
Among adults infected with both HIV and hepatitis C virus, the addition of boceprevir to a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin significantly increased the rate of sustained virological response compared with those who received placebo, results from a 44–week, multicenter phase II study demonstrated.

Quest inks pact with CDC to improve public health analysis of hepatitis C screening, diagnosis and treatment
“This collaboration is an important step forward to producing actionable insights to aid public and clinical disease detection and management of hepatitis C,” said Rick Pesano, MD, Ph.D., medical director, infectious diseases. “Working with the CDC, Quest Diagnostics will lead the way for other providers to improve diagnosis and management of this disease, which in turn will help more people lead healthier lives.”

Renal impairment common with telaprevir, boceprevir therapy for HCV
“Renal impairment has not been an issue with dual therapy [interferon and ribavirin],” researcher Stefan Mauss, MD, Center for HIV and Hepatogastroenterology in Dusseldorf, Germany, told Healio.com. “[However,] with the current triple therapy, it has to be added to the adverse event list. Include creatinine in your checklist, and keep an eye in particular on patients with additional risk factors for renal impairment, [such as] older age, arterial hypertension [or] diabetes mellitus.”

Week Ending July 7, 2013

Fibroscan accurately predicts liver decompensation and death in HIV/HCV co-infected people
“The non-invasive transient elastometry method of estimating liver damage may be a better way to predict which people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C will progress to decompensated liver cirrhosis and death, researchers reported last week at the 7th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Kuala Lumpur.”

Harm reduction program still discretely providing services
“That’s why the service is there and we don’t limit the amount we give because with limited hours, then you’re telling them to share,” Blazieko said. “If they come off hours, they ring the doorbell and we will answer the doorbell and provide them with the service they need.”
“We’re trying to prevent the amount of people getting hepatitis C and if you don’t provide clean needles, we will have an increase in it,” Blazieko said.

Gov. Cuomo should act to expand access to hepatitis C testing: Commentary
Unfortunately our health system has not kept pace with the epidemic, which is why a law requiring a one-time offer of testing will be so valuable. Testing people now will allow people to take steps to prevent new transmission and get treatment, saving thousands of lives in the future and tens of millions of dollars. If you are potentially at risk of hepatitis C infection, talk to your doctor about getting tested. And then call Gov. Cuomo and ask that he follow the legislature’s lead and make hepatitis C testing available for those who can most benefit from it.

Hepatitis C Triple Therapy Scores in Large Clinical Trial
Patients with the most prevalent type of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have a substantially higher likelihood of achieving a sustained virologic response (SVR) with a triple therapy that includes an HCV protease inhibitor, a recent report confirmed. The findings validate triple therapy as the first-line treatment for genotype 1 hepatitis C (Ann Intern Med 2013;158:114-123).

Achillion Hepatitis C Drug Trial on Hold on Liver Concern
U.S. regulators put the hepatitis C drug trial on hold after some patients experienced elevated liver enzymes, Achillion said in a statement yesterday. The elevations were observed in healthy patients when Achillion’s sovaprevir was combined with two medicines used to treat HIV infections in order to test for possible drug interactions. The combination may have resulted in a drug interaction that produced higher-than-expected blood levels of the therapies, Achillion said.

Week Ending June 30, 2013

Idenix Anticipates Delay in Testing of Hepatitis C Drug, FDA Needs More Data
“Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc issued a press release announcing a possible delay on the human trials of a hepatitis C drugs so they can provide additional safety data that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeks from them.”

Abbott introduces hepatitis C virus genotyping test in US
“Abbott, a global healthcare company has introduced the first US FDA–approved hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotyping test for patients in the United States. Abbott's fully automated RealTime HCV Genotype II test determines the specific type or strain (referred to as the genotype) of the HCV virus present in the blood of an HCV–infected individual.”

Breast cancer, hep C, MS drugs may come with higher copays in California
“The Affordable Care Act might not make care much more affordable for some Californians who need expensive prescription drugs to treat chronic illnesses or just to stay alive.”

TTS Welcomes CET’s Free Hepatitis B, C Testing Initative
LOS ANGELES — “Cutting Edge Testing has decided to offer free hepatitis B and C screening as part of their basic panel; Talent Testing Services welcomes the initiative. “As a further insight to this program, we encourage CET and all other APHSS-participating facilities to only use FDA cleared whole blood donor grade reagents for this type of screening,” said Sixto Pacheco, president and CEO of TTS. “This is very important in assuring that all talent tests provide the same baseline in clearing talent and resetting the health statistics.””

LabCorp Announces Availability of Newly Approved Viral Load Assay for Hepatitis C Virus
“Laboratory Corporation of America(R) Holdings (LabCorp(R) ) (NYSE: LH) today announced that it is offering the COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HCV Test, v2.0. With enhanced sensitivity, this quantitative viral load assay for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) enables more accurate assessments of response to antiviral therapy.”

Week Ending June 23, 2013

Idenix Anticipates Delay in Testing of Hepatitis C Drug, FDA Needs More Data
“Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc issued a press release announcing a possible delay on the human trials of a hepatitis C drugs so they can provide additional safety data that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeks from them.”

Abbott introduces hepatitis C virus genotyping test in US
“Abbott, a global healthcare company has introduced the first US FDA–approved hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotyping test for patients in the United States. Abbott's fully automated RealTime HCV Genotype II test determines the specific type or strain (referred to as the genotype) of the HCV virus present in the blood of an HCV–infected individual.”

Breast cancer, hep C, MS drugs may come with higher copays in California
“The Affordable Care Act might not make care much more affordable for some Californians who need expensive prescription drugs to treat chronic illnesses or just to stay alive.”

TTS Welcomes CET’s Free Hepatitis B, C Testing Initative
LOS ANGELES — “Cutting Edge Testing has decided to offer free hepatitis B and C screening as part of their basic panel; Talent Testing Services welcomes the initiative. “As a further insight to this program, we encourage CET and all other APHSS-participating facilities to only use FDA cleared whole blood donor grade reagents for this type of screening,” said Sixto Pacheco, president and CEO of TTS. “This is very important in assuring that all talent tests provide the same baseline in clearing talent and resetting the health statistics.””

LabCorp Announces Availability of Newly Approved Viral Load Assay for Hepatitis C Virus
“Laboratory Corporation of America(R) Holdings (LabCorp(R) ) (NYSE: LH) today announced that it is offering the COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HCV Test, v2.0. With enhanced sensitivity, this quantitative viral load assay for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) enables more accurate assessments of response to antiviral therapy.”

Week Ending June 16, 2013

Global Commission on Drug Policy: Hepatitis C an epidemic
Between seven million and nine million people in the Americas are infected with the disease.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – “The counter–narcotics fight is fueling an international hepatitis C epidemic, according to a new report, leading prominent world and Latin American figures to call on countries to decriminalize drug use and focus on treatment.”

Hyaluronic acid levels can predict risk of serious liver events in people living with HIV and hepatitis B or C co-infection
“A simple blood test can predict the risk of liver–related death or hepatic encephalopathy for people living with HIV who have hepatitis B or hepatitis C co-infection, investigators from the EuroSIDA cohort report in PLoS One.”

No impact on acute rejection from interferon/ribavirin HCV therapy among renal transplant recipients
“Chronic hepatitis C–infected renal transplant recipients receiving interferon–based therapy experienced modest efficacy rates but were not at elevated risk for allograft rejection, according to recent results.”

Seeing how the Hepatitis C virus builds ion channels could help researchers find new drugs to fight the disease
(Phys.org) –“Viruses are masters of minimalist design. With only a simple genome and a handful of proteins, a virus can hijack much more sophisticated cells and mimic many of the intra– and inter–cellular machinery built by their much more complex hosts. Using these same building blocks, many viruses—like Hepatitis C—can also make us dangerously ill.”

Future HCV therapies will improve SVR rates, treatment durations, tolerability
ORLANDO, Fla. – “Anna S. Lok, MD, professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., discusses upcoming advancements in therapies for hepatitis C at Digestive Disease Week 2013.”

AbbVie Says It Can Beat Gilead in Race for New Hepatitis C Drugs
“AbbVie Inc. said it can win the race againstGilead Sciences Inc. to bring to market a new generation of all-oral hepatitis C drugs.”

Investigational all-oral interferon-free combination from Boehringer Ingelheim achieves 95% viral cure rates in genotype-1b hepatitis C patients
“New data from Boehringer Ingelheim’s interferon–free SOUND–C3 study were presented during the APASL Liver Week in Singapore. The Phase IIb study investigated the efficacy and safety of faldaprevir+ and deleobuvir+ (BI 207127) plus ribavirin in treatment–naïve patients with genotype-1b (GT-1b) hepatitis C virus (HCV),1 one of the most common types of HCV globally.2”

Bill would provide Hep-C testing for more NY'ers
“A group of about 50 advocates dressed in black and white T-shirts with "Vocal New York" printed across their fronts crowded the Million Dollar Staircase in the Capitol; signs, that said, "Hep C Testing = Saved Lives," and "Fight Hep C," waved in the air; chants of, "No justice, no peace," and "End Hep-C" reverberated up and down the staircase.”

State Rep. Aaron Vega works to raise awareness by getting hepatitis C test
HOLYOKE – “State Rep. Aaron M. Vega, D–Holyoke, got a negative and he wants people to know nothing could be more positive.”

Week Ending June 9, 2013

Gilead's hep C pill gets FDA priority review
“Gilead Sciences has been boosted by the news that regulators in the USA have granted a priority review to its investigational hepatitis C pill sofosbuvir.”

Boehringer says faldaprevir does well in Asian hepatitis C patients
“Boehringer Ingelheim's second-generation hepatitis C virus protease inhibitor faldaprevir achieved a viral cure rate of nearly 90 per cent in Asian patients with the hard-to-treat genotype-1 form of the virus when combined with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.”

Cross Post: Hepatitis C Infection Among Young Injection Drug Users: Addressing an Emerging Trend
“In recent years, there has been an emerging epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among young injection drug users (IDU) in rural and suburban settings.”

UAlbany RNA researcher looking for new Hepatitis C treatment (Video)
“Dr. Cara Pager, an assistant professor at the University at Albany, has received a three-year grant to support her research into a new treatment for hepatitis C.”

Hepatitis B and C infect one in fifty adults in European Region
“Over 13 million adults are living with hepatitis B and 15 million with hepatitis C in the WHO European Region – indicating a huge burden of treatment and care. New estimates published in an article on 30 May 2013 by WHO/Europe, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Public Health England suggest that almost one in fifty adults is infected with hepatitis B and a similar proportion of people have chronic hepatitis C.”

Ohio General Assembly should move syringe bill along: editorial
“The track marks from intravenous drug use lead from the inner city to the suburbs, and right on out to the cornfields. It's part of an opiate epidemic in Ohio that doesn't just snare junkies, but can also poison them with hepatitis C, a virus that attacks the liver and is spread by users who share dirty needles.”

Blood Tests OK for Fibrosis Dx in Hep C
“Blood testing can accurately identify clinically significant fibrosis and cirrhosis in people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and may be an alternative to liver biopsy in some patients, a new study found.”

Week Ending June 2, 2013

Liver cancer on the rise in Canada
The greatest risk factors for liver cancer are chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections, but the viruses aren't well-recognized as health threats, the society said. “One of the problems with this disease is that it does not develop symptoms or patients aren't aware that they have the problem until the disease is very advanced, at a very large and untreatable stage,” Dr. Sean Cleary.

Hepatitis A outbreak linked to Oregon berry farm, Costco
The Food and Drug Administration is investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A linked to a frozen organic berry mix sold by an Oregon company.The FDA and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 30 illnesses are linked to Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend, which contains pomegranate seed mix. Illnesses were reported in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California.

Lab Notes: Stop Hepatitis C from Multiplying
As Seong-Wook Lee, PhD, of Dankook University in South Korea, and colleagues reported in the Journal of Virology, the agents inhibited replication of two variants of HCV -- genotypes 1b and 2a -- in cultured human liver cells without inducing toxicity or innate immunity. Also, there were no signs that the approach induced resistance.

War on drugs ‘driving hepatitis C pandemic’
The World Hepatitis Alliance said: "It is incomprehensible that hepatitis C, along with hepatitis B, is so consistently ignored. If you compare rates of hepatitis C in drug users in countries with good harm reduction and more enlightened drug policies with those in countries without, it is clear that regarding drug use exclusively as a criminal justice issue is a health disaster. Hepatitis C, its prevention, care and treatment must be addressed and must be addressed as the health issue it is."

Week Ending May 26, 2013

AASLD members at forefront to raise awareness of hepatitis B and C
“Viral hepatitis is an asymptomatic disease affecting more than 5.3 million Americans. More than 75 percent of those with hepatitis C are unaware they have the virus.”

The Majority of Physicians that Treat Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Have Begun "Warehousing" and Preparing Their HCV Patients for the Next Generation of HCV Treatments Sixty Percent of Surveyed Physicians Agree That They Are Beginning To Warehouse HCV Patients Until New Interferon–Free Regimens Are Available, According to a Recently Published BioTrends Report
EXTON, Pa. – “BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that, unaided, one in five surveyed gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and infectious disease specialists reported that in the past six months, they have begun warehousing patients (e.g., intentionally delaying treatment) in anticipation of the next generation of HCV treatments–notably more physicians than six months ago, when only 6 percent reported that they had begun warehousing patients.”

Sustained Virologic Response with Simeprevir for Hepatitis C
“Janssen R&D Ireland announced primary efficacy and safety results from its global Phase 3 PROMISE study. Simeprevir (TMC435) is an investigational NS3/4A protease inhibitor for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C in adult patients with compensated liver disease, including all stages of liver fibrosis.”

Help on Wheels for Philly's Public Health 'Time Bomb,' Hepatitis C
An innovative mobile lab brings testing to highest risk neighborhoods.

“Stepping out of the high–tech medical lab on wheels and into a sunny afternoon in the projects, McHale Colman, 28, doesn’t seem to notice that he has experienced something revolutionary.”

Local clinic offers free testing to combat 'silent' epidemic
SC – “May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and HopeHealth Edisto is offering free screenings against what has become one of the nation’s silent epidemic.”

Hospital: Some hepatitis C patients cured
EXETER – “A year after 32 Exeter Hospital patients were infected with hepatitis C, it appears some of those patients are on the road to recovery.”

Risks small between HCV patients’ use of DAAs, neuropsychiatric events
“The risks for neuropsychiatric adverse events among patients with hepatitis C virus being treated with direct–acting antivirals appear minimal, but the risks for drug-drug interactions are high, according to recent study results.”

San Antonio researcher makes Hepatitis C breakthrough drug
“90 percent cure rate reported; no side effects reported after taking Sofosbuvir
San Antonio – After devoting 15 years of his career on Hepatitis C research, Dr. Eric Lawitz of the Texas Liver Institute reports a breakthrough drug with a 90 percent cure rate and no side effects.”

Taking steps to prevent hepatitis
“During National Hepatitis Awareness Month, the New Jersey Department of Health is reminding residents about the dangers of hepatitis and steps that they can take to prevent the disease.”

New facility unveiled for homeless with Hepatitis C
MONTREAL – “The Old Brewery Mission has unveiled a new facility where 14 homeless Montrealers will have a special place to stay while they undergo the year–long treatment for Hepatitis C.”

Week Ending May 19, 2013

Latino Community Rallies To Generate Awareness Of Viral Hepatitis
“During May’s observance of Hepatitis Awareness Month, we also mark National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day (NHHAD). Both of these events highlight the importance of strengthening efforts to address hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among Latinos. NHHAD is a national community mobilization and social marketing campaign that unites the Hispanic/Latino community in efforts to raise awareness about viral hepatitis; promote hepatitis C testing, prevention and education; and bring attention to other related critical health issues such as HIV co-infection and alcohol use.”

HCV prevalence higher among Asian-Americans
ORLANDO, Fla. – “There was a higher prevalence of hepatitis C infection among Asian-Americans than among non-Asians who received care at a free community clinic, researchers reported at Digestive Disease Week.”

National Hepatitis Testing Day Monday
HONOLULU – “National Hepatitis Testing Day will be observed in Hawaiì on Monday.”

Hep C rising in baby boomers, but can they be treated?
SEATTLE – “If you’re a baby boomer, the United States Centers for Disease Control is recommending you get tested for Hepatitis C, regardless of whether or not you have any other risk factors. But, treatment may not be readily available for newly diagnosed patients, and the Affordable Care Act could make things even worse.”

Health Officials: Hepatitis C Test Needed for MN Baby Boomers
“Attention baby boomers – have you been tested for hepatitis C lately?
The Minnesota Department of Health is reminding people born from 1945 through 1965 to be tested for hepatitis C. The reminder comes for national hepatitis awareness month.”

New hepatitis C testing: Double-whammy for veterans
“Are you a baby boomer’? According to new recommendations by the CDC, if you were born between 1945 and 1965, getting a hepatitis C test should be on the top of your to–do list. Recommendations for hepatitis C testing of Vietnam veterans have been in place for years, but this new recommendation affects an even larger group of Americans. It turns out that people born during these years have the highest rates of hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Yet most don’t know they’re infected because there are often no symptoms and they don’t recall a specific risk.

Hepatitis C Awareness Month | Tacoma, Pierce County Health Department
“May is Hepatitis C Awareness Month, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Departments encourages you to check your risk factors for this disease.”

Charlottesville Nonprofit Offering Free Hepatitis C Testing
“An estimated 3.2 million Americans live with chronic hepatitis C, and many of them don't know they have it. Now a nonprofit provides rapid testing and it's one of the first in the region.”

Week Ending May 12, 2013

U.S. FDA Grants Priority Review to Simeprevir (TMC435) for Combination Treatment of Genotype 1 Chronic Hepatitis C
“Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Priority Review to the New Drug Application (NDA) for simeprevir (TMC435), an investigational NS3/4A protease inhibitor administered as a 150 mg capsule once daily with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C in adult patients with compensated liver disease.”

FDA fast tracks AbbVie hepatitis C drug
“AbbVie said Monday that its new hepatitis C drug regimen has been given a breakthrough therapy designation by the Food and Drug Administration, putting it on the fast track for potential approval in the United States.”

‘Disturbing’ hepatitis C trend
Canada – North Bay – “More young women in the area are being infected with a potentially fatal liver disease and may never know it.

“It's quite disturbing,” said Keri McGuire-Trahan, a registered nurse clinician who is part of a hepatitis C treatment team with the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area.”

Free hepatitis testing for at-risk individuals
Up to 80 percent of the people who have viral hepatitis show no symptoms – get checked!

Everett, WA – “Snohomish Health District nurse Kathy Perkins finds hepatitis in all walks of life, but most often in people who have injected drugs – even once – or have been tattooed or pierced with unsterilized equipment.”

Tattoos increase hepatitis C risk and many people regret getting them, tattoo removal expert says
Removal is painful and expensive

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – “Let's say you are living in the moment, feeling giddy — a little tipsy, maybe — and you decide to go for it. You decide to get that tattoo.”

Hepatitis C care "at risk" in the UK, say Roche
“A new report by Roche and hep C patient groups says that more needs to be done to better that rate of treatment of hepatitis C in the UK.”

20 veterans test positive for hepatitis
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – “Four months after learning veterans may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis at the V.A. Hospital in Buffalo, 20 have tested positive for hepatitis.”

Movement for global access to hepatitis C treatment building momentum
“Access to hepatitis C treatment in low- and middle-income countries is being restricted by the high cost of interferon and a lack of commitment to treating the disease, leading to a growing gap between the prospects of patients in the wealthiest nations and the rest of the world, advocates reported at the 48th International Liver Congress (EASL 2013) in Amsterdam last month.“

Many with hepatitis C don't get needed follow-up tests, CDC says
“Half of all patients who have tested positive for hepatitis C have not had follow-up testing to see if they are still infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Health officials prepare for Hepatitis C Outreach Day
Durham, NC – “The Durham County Department of Public Health is teaming up with organizations throughout the county to offer Hepatitis C testing and education on May 20.”

Gilead combo hepatitis C pill effective in small trial
(Reuters) – “Gilead Sciences Inc on Thursday said almost all patients taking a fixed-dose combination of two of its experimental hepatitis C drugs appeared to have eliminated the liver virus after either eight weeks or 12 weeks of treatment in a small mid-stage study.”

Survey Reveals Discrimination Experienced by People with Hepatitis C
New survey from hepatitiscnews.com finds that almost two thirds of people with hep C have experienced stigma and discrimination.

“The survey, conducted by the online community hepatitisCnews.com, also found low awareness of the virus, and four out of ten respondents admitted that they had never heard of hepatitis C until they were diagnosed.”

Week Ending April 28, 2013

Why You Need a Hepatitis C Test
Baby boomers are at high risk of this infection of the liver. Here’s what to know about testing for and the treatment of Hepatitis C.

“Although you may think of hepatitis as a disease that strikes other people–younger ones, with risky lifestyles–you'd be wrong. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, people born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely than other adults to be infected with Hepatitis C. So it's essential that mid-lifers get a Hepatitis C test, even if you think you don't need it.””

Daclatasvir + sofosbuvir offers hepatitis C rescue therapy after current standard of care
Potential "path forward to a cure" for genotype 2 and 3 patients

“An interferon–free regimen of daclatasvir plus sofosbuvir, with or without ribavirin, cured all previously treated hepatitis C (HCV) patients who did not respond to interferon–based triple therapy using the approved HCV protease inhibitors boceprevir (Victrelis) or telaprevir (Incivo or Incivek), according to a report on Saturday at the 48th International Liver Congress (EASL 2013) in Amsterdam.”

Transgene Presents Promising Pre-Clinical Data on TG1050 to Treat Chronic HBV at EASL 2013
Initiation of a Phase I study in 2014New first in class immunotherapeutic to treat CHB

“Transgene SA, a biopharmaceutical company that develops targeted immunotherapy products to treat major unmet medical needs in cancer and chronic infectious diseases, announced pre–clinical data obtained with its novel immunotherapeutic, TG1050, to treat chronic hepatitis B infection (CHB). These results were presented in an oral session (Hepatitis B and D Experimental) at this year’s European Association for the Study of the Liver Conference (Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 24-28, 2013).”

New antiviral drugs clear Hepatitis C in patients without treatment options
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – “Hepatitis C patients may soon have effective new drugs that can clear the liver of the viral infection.

That’s good news for the population believed to be most affected by hepatitis C: the nation’s more than 70 million baby boomers — those born between 1945 and 1965.”

International consortium exploring long-term outcomes of treating hepatitis C releases first data
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – “Two antiviral drugs used to treat hepatitis C appear to work as well in the real world as they did during clinical trials, an international research consortium has observed. The consortium also released data that may help inform how doctors and patients manage treatment-related adverse events.”

AbbVie hepatitis C drugs knock out virus at 8 weeks
(Reuters) – “A combination of five oral drugs being tested by AbbVie Inc. cured at least 88 percent of new patients with hepatitis C after only eight weeks of treatment, without raising significant safety issues, researchers said on Tuesday.”

Research Finds Targeted Screening For Hepatitis C Is Cost-Effective
“Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that targeted screening for populations with a higher estimated prevalence for hepatitis C may be cost-effective.

These findings, published in the April 24, 2013, online edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, indicate that targeted screening for chronic hepatitis C virus infection is cost–effective when the prevalence of hepatitis C in a population exceeds 0.84 percent (84/10,000).”

Boehringer Ingelheim reports positive data from hepatitis drug trial
“Boehringer Ingelheim has reported positive results from STARTVerso 1, a phase III trial evaluating the benefits of the new hepatitis C treatment faldaprevir.”

Week Ending April 21, 2013

Merck Enters Agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb to Conduct a Phase II Clinical Trial Evaluating Combination of Investigational Oral Candidates MK-5172 and Daclatasvir for Chronic Hepatitis C
“Merck today announced it has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with Bristol–Myers Squibb to conduct a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a once-daily oral combination regimen consisting of Bristol–Myers Squibb’s investigational NS5A replication complex inhibitor daclatasvir and Merck's investigational NS3/4A protease inhibitor MK-5172 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, genotype 1.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Vertex to study new hepatitis C treatment
“Bristol–Myers Squibb is allying with Vertex Pharmaceuticals to conduct research into a potential new combination therapy option for hepatitis C patients.”

Achillion Initiates Phase 2 Interferon-Free Trial of Sovaprevir and ACH-3102 for Genotype 1 HCV
All-Oral Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of a 12-Week Regimen of Sovaprevir, ACH-3102 and Ribavirin for Genotype 1 Treatment-Naive HCV Patients

NEW HAVEN, Conn – “Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced that it has initiated an international Phase 2 clinical trial with sovaprevir and ACH–3102 for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C (HCV). The trial will evaluate an all-oral 12–week interferon-free regimen consisting of sovaprevir, ACH–3102, and ribavirin in patients with chronic HCV who have not received prior therapy.”

Hep C Transmission Among Gay Men Dates Back Decades; HIV a Major Risk Factor
“Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has transmitted among gay men since the early days of the AIDS epidemic, with HIV-positive men at much higher risk, particularly those with lower CD4 counts, aidsmap reports. Publishing their findings in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, investigators from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) followed 5,310 men who have sex with men (MSM) between 1984 and 2011, all of whom entered the study without hep C.”

57 Patients Got Hepatitis C From Oklahoma HIV Dentist, Thousands More Being Tested
“Former patients of the Oklahoma oral surgeon accused of exposing patients to hepatitis and HIV tested positive for hepatitis. Thursday, the Tulsa City–County Health Department announced that 57 former patients have hepatitis C. Three tested positive for hepatitis B and less than three tested positive for HIV.”

2 win $300,000 Rhode Island Innovation Fellowships
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – “A project that aims to make Rhode Island the first state to eradicate Hepatitis C, and another to teach young people how to think like designers have each won a contest for a fellowship worth $300,000.”

Week Ending April 14, 2013

Treating Hepatitis B and C
“Treatment for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has not advanced as fast as HIV and hepatitis C therapy in recent years, but approval of new drugs has led to higher response rates.”

Boehringer Ingelheim to Announce Pivotal Phase 3 Hepatitis C Data at the International Liver Congress
“Boehringer Ingelheim today announced that data from its pivotal STARTVerso™ 1 Phase 3 hepatitis C clinical trial have been accepted for oral presentation as a late–breaker at the International Liver Congress™ 2013: 48th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), taking place from April 24–28 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.”

Interrupting protein can help boost immunity
“Interrupting for a short period a protein responsible for immune functions can help boost the body”s immunity against viral infections like HIV and hepatitis C, says a new study.”

Oral Hepatitis C Cure on Its Way
“Gilead Sciences moved one step closer to an all–oral cure for hepatitis C on Monday when the company submitted its application to the Food and Drug Administration to market sofosbuvir for the viral infection.”

UnitedHealth to Pay $500M in Punitive Damages in Hepatitis C Case
“In addition to $24 million in compensatory damages, a Nevada jury has ruled that two units of UnitedHealth Group must also pay $500 million in punitive damages to two plaintiffs who contracted hepatitis C from an in–network physician, according to a Bloomberg Law report.”

Health Department offers free Hepatitis C testing
“AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin in conjunction with Lincoln County Health Department and Family Planning Health Services is offering a free rapid Hepatitis C test to Lincoln County residents. The event will be held from 12–6 p.m. on April 15 at the Lincoln County Health Department, 607 N. Sales St., Suite 101, Merrill, and from 12–6 p.m. on April 17 at the Tomahawk Family Planning Clinic, 318 N. 7th St. No appointments are necessary for this free testing. Testing is available while supplies last. HIV testing will be available for those who are interested.”

Week Ending April 7, 2013

Medicare patients need hepatitis C tests, coalition says
Medicare should promote screenings for hepatitis C given the frequency of the virus among older patients, advocates said Wednesday.

“The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, a coalition of health groups and medical providers, circulated a letter urging federal health officials to offer hepatitis C screenings as part of patients' first Medicare exam.”

Hepatitis C spikes on Cape Cod
“It's been more than a quarter of a century since a Dennisport man capped off nights of drinking with friends by injecting cocaine into his arms.”

Vertex, Bristol–Myers Squibb partner on oral hepatitis C treatment
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said today it has entered into a non–exclusive agreement with Bristol–Myers Squibb Company to conduct second, all-oral studies of the former’s VX-135 drug with the latter’s drug, daclatasvir, for the treatment of hepatitis C.”

Formal HCV education improved time to therapy initiation, response
“Patients with hepatitis C who participated in a formal class on the illness initiated therapy more quickly and experienced sustained virologic response more frequently than those who did not attend in a recent study.”

You, work and Hepatitis C
“Most people now continue to work after their Hepatitis C (HCV) diagnosis. But, if you have to leave work because of Hepatitis C or related illness, you may want (or need) to return to work after your health has improved. However, you may have to negotiate with your employer about time off for doctors” appointments or for days when you feel unwell. You may find a regular nine–to–five working day is no longer possible, and requesting flexible working hours may be part of this negotiation.”

Week Ending March 31, 2013

Congress must restore federal funding for needle exchange
Public health and fiscal benefits of providing clean syringes for addicts are overwhelming

“In 2009, Congress passed legislation reversing the decades–old ban on the use of federal funding for syringe exchange but, for unclear reasons, in late 2011, it reversed this decision, again withholding federal funding from programs that provide drug users with sterile needles and syringes. This month, Congress approved the health spending budget for the rest of this fiscal year without lifting the ban. This lack of action worsens public health problems, makes our communities less safe, and increases future financial burdens on taxpayers.”

Hepatitis C cases on the rise locally
Year-end totals show there were 172 cases reported during 2012

CHILLICOTHE – “What a difference a decade can make. In 2002, there were just 23 cases of Hepatitis C reported to the Ross County Health District. Fast-forward to 2012, and that has increased to 172.”

Santaris drug shows efficacy against hepatitis C
“A drug for hepatitis C virus from Santaris Pharma shows effectiveness in reducing the potentially deadly virus in people, according to new clinical trial results.”

7,000 Oklahoma dental clinic patients urged to get tested for hepatitis, HIV
TULSA, Okla. – “The crisp, stucco exterior of an Oklahoma dental clinic concealed what health inspectors say they found inside: rusty instruments used on patients with infectious diseases and a pattern of unsanitary practices that put thousands of people at risk for hepatitis and the virus that causes AIDS.”

B.C. plan to wipe out hepatitis will follow HIV model
VANCOUVER – “The plan to wipe out HIV infection by British Columbia health experts was so successful, they’re trying to replicate the idea for the treatment of viral hepatitis.”

In Monogamous Couples, Person with Hepatitis C Unlikely to Infect Partner
(HealthDay News) – “Monogamous heterosexual couples where one partner is infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are at very low risk of transmitting the virus to the uninfected partner, according to a study in the March issue of Hepatology. A related study in the same journal found that the prevalence of HCV infection among newly incarcerated inmates is about 1%.”

Week Ending March 24, 2013

100% Cure Rate for Hep C With Sofosbuvir, Ledipasvir Combo Therapy
“An all-oral combination therapy of sofosbuvir, ledipasvir and ribavirin boasts a 100 percent cure rate among people with hepatitis C virus (HCV), HIVandHeptatis.com reports. Edward Gane from Auckland Clinical Studies presented these most recent results from the Gilead Sciences–sponsored ELECTRON study at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta.”

You may have Hepatitis C and not know it
“Nothing catches my attention more than when the CDC makes a sweeping recommendation for screening as it recently did for Hepatitis C, a serious and often silent infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The acute form –when someone is first infected– of hepatitis C infection tends to be short and rarely causes liver damage; however, chronic hepatitis C infection can follow a progressive course over many years ultimately resulting in cirrhosis –scarring of the liver–, or a form of liver cancer known as hepatocellular carcinoma, or even the need for liver transplantation.”

Maxim employee forged email to state in hepatitis c case
Staffing company later fired the worker

“A staffing company owned by Columbia-based Maxim Healthcare Services created a false email to make it appear it had informed state health officials about unethical conduct by contract worker David Kwiatkowski, who is accused of exposing hundreds of Maryland patients to hepatitis C.”

Egg Harbor Township clinic on cutting edge of hepatitis C treatments
NJ – “An Egg Harbor Township clinic is on the cutting edge of research in treating hepatitis C, a blood–borne virus that attacks the liver and can result in death if left untreated.”

Better Long-Term Outcomes With Low Hep C Viral Load
(HealthDay News) – “In patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), low HCV viral load predicts better long-term surgical outcomes, regardless of the serologic eradication of HCV, according to research published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

Statins tied to lowered liver cancer risk with hepatitis C
(Reuters Health) – “People infected with chronic hepatitis C are less likely to develop liver cancer if they are taking cholesterol–lowering drugs, new research from Taiwan suggests.”

Hepatitis C and HIV co-infection treatment: an interview with Prof Boecher, Boehringer Ingelheim
“Chronic hepatitis C infection is one of the most frequent chronic infectious diseases worldwide. The WHO estimates that 150 million people worldwide are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).”

Newly incarcerated have 1 percent acute hepatitis C prevalence
Screening of new inmates with IV drug history could identify thousands of new HCV cases annually

“A study published in the March issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, estimates that the prevalence of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is nearly one percent among newly incarcerated inmates with a history of recent drug use. Findings suggest that systematic screening of intravenous (IV) drug users who are new to the prison system could identify more than 7,000 cases of HCV across the U.S. annually—even among asymptomatic inmates.”

Hepatitis C Legislative Awareness Day In Albany
“Over 200,000 New Yorkers are living with the hepatitis C virus and most do not know their status even though new medications can cure most people with chronic infection. In response to this neglected and urgent health issue, the largest hepatitis C legislative awareness day yet was held in Albany on March 13th with participation from about 150 New Yorkers living with hepatitis C, service providers and allies.”

Week Ending March 17, 2013

Even moderate drinking may be risky with hepatitis C — US study
NEW YORK – “For people with the chronic liver infection hepatitis C, heavy drinking is an obvious no–no, but a new study links even modest alcohol consumption with an increased risk of death – and not just from liver disease.”

CROI 2013: Adding Telaprevir Increases Acute Hepatitis C Cure Rate for HIV+ Men
“Adding telaprevir (Incivek) to pegylated interferon and ribavirin shortens the duration of therapy and improves the likelihood of a cure for HIV positive men with acute sexually transmitted hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to study findings presented at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2013) last week in Atlanta.”

Hepatitis C: the cure?
A new drug could be the remedy that has eluded scientists and pharma for more than 20 years. Sam Knight reports

“As usual, hepatitis C was nowhere near the main stage. The elders of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases – the AASLD – had put the disease in its accustomed place: the upper floors and smaller meeting rooms of its enormous, annual research conference.”

Boehringer signs hep C pact with Presidio
“Boehringer Ingelheim has linked up with the USA’s Presidio Pharmaceuticals to look at combinations of two of its hepatitis C treatments with one of the San Francisco-based company's drugs.”

The silent pandemic: Tackling hepatitis C with policy innovation
“Governments across the world will have to face up to the challenges posed by the hepatitis C (HCV) pandemic or experience spiralling healthcare costs, says the Economist Intelligence Unit in its report The silent pandemic: Tackling hepatitis C with policy innovation.”

Week Ending March 10, 2013

Connecticut VA Hospital Leading Attack on Hepatitis C
“At the West Haven, Conn., Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital, a small group of patients assembles most Thursday afternoons to take part in a treatment protocol of new antiviral drugs for a common disease that they share — hepatitis C. West Haven has been one of several VA hospitals nationwide leading efforts to better treat, and hopefully cure, hepatitis C.”

Benitec Biopharma to seek US regulatory nod to start Hepatitis C drug trial
“Benitec Biophrama is progressing through the U.S. regulatory approvals that would enable it to start the clinical trial of its lead therapeutic TT-034 drug on Hepatitis C patients.”

Roche Gets FDA Approval For Hepatitis-C Therapy Response
“Roche Holding AG Wednesday said has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a next-generation viral load test to be used in the management of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.”

Pfizer drops hepatitis C candidate filibuvir
Compound was lagging behind investigational drugs from Gilead and AbbVie

“Pfizer has elected to stop development of a hepatitis C candidate in mid-stage testing after a strategic review of its pipeline.”

Gilead-Medivir Hepatitis C Drug Clears Virus in Patients
“An experimental drug combination from Gilead Sciences Inc., Medivir AB and Johnson & Johnson eradicated the virus that causes hepatitis C in patients with the liver disease in a study.”

Hepatitis C Cure
“Once considered a chronic and often deadly disease, now doctors are using a powerful word to describe the results of a new treatment for Hepatitis C.”

Patient Dilemma: Treat Hepatitis C Now or Hold Out?
“Being diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease usually triggers immediate treatment. But a growing number of people infected with hepatitis C are putting off therapy, choosing instead to roll the dice and wait for a new generation of drugs to become available.”

Rural Hepatitis C patients receive care locally
“Hepatitis C is the most common bloodborne infection in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 3.2 million people in the U.S. and 100,000 people in Arizona are chronically infected with the virus.”

Ste. Genevieve Health Department will be offering testing for Hepatitis C virus
Missouri – Ste. Genevieve – “The Centers for Disease Control now recommends a one-time testing for Baby Boomers born between 1945 and 1965. Prevalence of HCV antibody is five times higher in this group than in adults born in other years. Testing is now available for $26 by appointment on Tuesday. Fasting is not necessary. For more information, call 573-883-7411.”

SBNC Offering Free HIV & Hepatitis C Testing
“Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics West Side Clinic Holds Free HIV/Hepatitis C Testing Event for Women and Girls, one day only free service on Monday, March 11, 2013.”

Hepatitis C conference Thursday, March 11
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – “The Hepatitis Treatment Center at Atlantic Gastroenterology Associates (AGA) in Egg Harbor Township is hosting an educational mini-conference dedicated to a timely topic: “Best Practices For The Management of Hepatitis C: Screening, Linkage to Care, and Treatment,” with guest educator, Dr. Albert Min, director of hepatology at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY.”

Week Ending March 3, 2013

Veterans Affairs in forefront for hepatitis C treatment
“On most Thursdays, a small group of patients assembles at the veterans hospital in West Haven because they share a common disease — hepatitis C — and a common treatment — a protocol of new antiviral drugs.”

Health Canada Warns Of Serious Skin Reactions From Hepatitis C Drug
“Two months after the FDA issued a safety alert informing about the serious skin reactions, some fatal, in patients taking Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s hepatitis C drug Incivek, it is now health Canada's turn to alert health-care providers and patients.”

Hepatitis C risk: Think before you ink
“Researchers have warned of a possible link between tattoos and hepatitis C. So, the next time you plan to get a tattoo, think before you ink.”

Study shows value of hepatitis C therapy for HIV co-infected patients with compensated cirrhosis
“Spanish research published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases shows the benefits of successful hepatitis C therapy for people co-infected with HIV who have compensated liver cirrhosis. Achievement of a sustained virological response (SVR) was associated with lower rates of progression to decompensated cirrhosis and a lower risk of death.”

Hepatitis C testing offered at Health Fair this year
“This year the laboratory at Central Montana Medical Center is offering Hepatitis C Antibody Screening for $35. Dr. Keith Hopkins will be giving a presentation on Hepatitis C on Tuesday, March 5th at 6:30pm in the CMMC Conference Room 1. There will also be a laboratory representative there who can sign you up for an appointment to get your blood drawn.”

Week Ending February 17, 2013

Specialty Pharmacy Lifts Hep C Drug Adherence
“Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects an estimated 3.2 million Americans with another approximately 35% affected and unaware that they are carrying the virus. A long–term liver disease, HCV can lead to serious health complications, even death. It’s also a common cause of cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver cancer and the most common cause of liver transplantation in the U.S.”

Patients with Hepatitis C plan to sue Olean General Hospital
OLEAN, N.Y. — “Last month Olean General Hospital officials, concerned over the possible reuse of insulin pens, advised more than 1,900 patients to take blood tests.”

Hepatitis C treatment: no benefits and possible harm
“Patients with hepatitis C have two concerns. The first concern relates to how likely it is that he or she will develop end–stage liver disease, namely either symptoms of cirrhosis that will incapacitate them, lead to the need for a liver transplantation, or even death, or primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). The second concern is what can be done to prevent, or at least reduce the likelihood of, the development of those conditions. The first relates to the natural history of the process and the second relates to the benefit of treatment.”

More evidence of sexual transmission of hepatitis C among HIV–positive gay men in the US
“Investigators in the US have found a high incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among HIV–positive gay men. Annual incidence was 1.6% – the highest ever seen in research involving HIV–positive gay men in the United States – among patients receiving care at the Fenway Institute in Boston. The study is published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.”

Health workers most at risk from Hepatitis C
“Healthcare workers are among thoses most at risk of contracting Hepatitis C, the Abu Dhabi Municipality said at a lecture for employees aimed at spreading awareness about the often incurable virus.”

Week Ending February 10, 2013

Healthcare workers and prevention of hepatitis C virus transmission: exploring knowledge, attitudes and evidence-based practices in hemodialysis units in Italy
“Evidence exists regarding the full prevention of HCV transmission to hemodialysis patients by implementing universal precaution. However, little information is available regarding the frequency with which hospitals have adopted evidence-based practices for preventing HCV infection among hemodialysis patients.”

Hepatitis C in Pinal County
In Arizona there are about 80,000 positive cases of hepatitis C and an estimated 30,000 people are believed to be undiagnosed, according to the health department.

“More than 3,000 Pinal County residents could have hepatitis C and not know it, but if people followed a recommendation made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last year, many of those hidden carriers could be found.”

FISSION Study Should Support Regulatory Approval For Gilead's Hepatitis C Drug
“Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company’s mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases worldwide.”

Clinic may have infected 120 patients with hepatitis C
China – “Unsafe treatment for varicose veins may have caused an outbreak of hepatitis C in Liaoning Province, as all those suspected of being stricken by the disease had been previously treated with injections at a local private clinic, local authorities said.”

One-third cases of hepatitis B, C preventable: study
“About one-third of the hepatitis B and C cases in Pakistan can be prevented by interventions directed towards a few selected and modifiable risk factors, a recent study shows.”

Week Ending January 27, 2013

Dave Purchase Dies at 73; Led Early Needle Exchange
“Dave Purchase, a bearded biker who 24 years ago began handing out sterile syringes to prevent AIDS among drug addicts on the streets of Tacoma, Wash., and went on to become a national leader of the needle–exchange movement, died on Jan. 21 in Tacoma. He was 73.”

The Harm Reduction Coalition will be hosting a party to celebrate and remember Dave on February 6th at 7:00 PM. Office address: 22 West 28tj Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY.

Study finds connection between tattoos, hepatitis C
“People seeking to get a tattoo should be picky about the parlor they have them done at, U.S. researchers said in response to a study that found a link between body art and hepatitis C, the leading cause of liver cancer.”

Hepatitis C cases hitting baby boomers
“Greg Hays never knew he had it in him. He picked up hepatitis C sometime in his 62 years, possibly after a motorcycle accident that led to a blood transfusion as far back as the 1960s. If that was the source, it didn’t turn up until nearly a half-century later, in 2011. That discovery led to costly drug treatment with miserable side effects, but Hays looks back now as a man who is happy, cured and in disbelief.”

Infographic: Doctor-patient interactions about hepatitis C
Doctors do more than 60 percent of the talking in visits averaging 11–and–a–half minutes.

“Who does the talking when patients with hepatitis C visit the doctor? What do they discuss?”

Prison and other amateur tattoos carry with it a significant hepatitis C risk according to researchers
“Although previous studies have shown there to be no increased risk of hepatitis C (HCV) infection when procedures like tattoos and piercing are performed in a professional environment, the same does not hold true when they are done in prison settings or by friends, according to a study by CDC researchers published in the online journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases.”

Week Ending January 20, 2013

EIU report highlights low awareness of hepatitis C
“A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit warns that hepatitis C has become a "silent pandemic" which kills 350,000 people each year.”

Exeter Hospital lawyer: Hepatitis C patients recovering
EXETER – “Some of the 32 Exeter Hospital patients infected with hepatitis C during the hospital's outbreak last year have cleared the virus from their system, an attorney representing the hospital said.”

Online tattoo and piercing kits could be spreading Hepatitis C
“TATTOO and body piercing parties could be breeding grounds for hepatitis C, a disease that now kills more Australians than HIV/AIDS.”

The burden of hepatitis C in Europe from the patients' perspective: a survey in 5 countries
“Few studies have examined the impact of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on patient reported outcomes in Europe. This study was conducted to assess the burden of HCV infection in terms of work productivity loss, activity impairment, health–related quality of life, healthcare resource utilization, and associated costs.”

As Hepatitis C Sneaks Up On Baby Boomers, Treatment Options Grow
“A smoldering epidemic already affects an estimated 4 million Americans, most of whom don't know it.”

Healthy Living: Hepatitis C, the silent epidemic
“Viral Hepatitis or Hepatitis C is an infection that causes liver disease and cancer. Half of people waiting for liver transplants have it. CDC officials say after seeing years of decline in new cases, they're now seeing a spike.”

Week Ending January 13, 2013

As Hepatitis C Sneaks Up On Baby Boomers, Treatment Options Grow A smoldering epidemic already affects an estimated 4 million Americans, most of whom don't know it.
“It’s hepatitis C, an insidious virus that can hide in the body for two or three decades without causing symptoms – and then wreak havoc with the liver, scarring it so extensively that it can fail. Half of all people waiting for liver transplants have hepatitis C.”

Scientists Discover New Gene That Affects Clearance of Hepatitis C Virus
“Scientists have discovered a gene that interferes with the clearance of hepatitis C virus infection. They also identified an inherited variant within this gene, Interferon Lambda 4 (IFNL4), that predicts how people respond to treatment for hepatitis C infection.”

Inovia to begin hepatitis C clinical trial
“Inovia Pharmaceuticals will move its hepatitis C DNA vaccine into a phase 1/11a clinical trial by the end of 2013.

The advancement of this work is based on exceptional results of a preclinical study, which showed for the first time that a multi-antigen SynCon HC vaccine can deliver robust T-cell responses in the blood and liver.”

Nurse’s notes: Hep C virus is treatable
“Tremendous progress has been made in controlling the pandemic of hepatitis C virus. This virus, which affects about 180 million people globally and up to 5 million Americans, has been difficult to treat, using drugs with only modest potency and significant side effects resulting in cure rates of only about 50 percent.”

Gilead On Schedule With Hepatitis C Treatments
“Various updates have been announced pertaining to Gilead Sciences' late-stage, forthcoming candidates for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection (HCV).”

Patients receiving opioid maintenance treatment in primary care: successful chronic hepatitis C care in a real world setting
“Injection drug users (IDUs) represent a significant proportion of patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). The low treatment uptake among these patients results in a low treatment effectiveness and a limited public health impact.”

Week Ending January 6, 2013

New Pills Show Promise for Hepatitis C
If approved, they'll provide fewer side effects, shorter treatment time, studies suggest

“Two new pills on the horizon for people with hepatitis C promise shorter treatment time and fewer side effects than today's standard treatment, interferon.”

Board of Health asks council to address Hepatitis C in West Milford
NJ – “West Milford Board of Health Chair Doris Aaronson presented the Township of West Milford Council with facts and figures concerning documented cases of Hepatitis C in the township.”

Support improves hepatitis C treatment completion and response rates among drug users
“Hepatitis C treatment completion and response rates among injecting drug users are similar to those seen in general patient populations, the findings of a meta-analysis published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases show. The best outcomes were seen in people who received therapy and support for their addiction.”

Few hepatitis C patients receive complete treatment
“Less than 10% of patients with hepatitis C (HCV) receive the treatment they need to achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR), results from a systematic review show.”

Week Ending December 31, 2012

Vertex hepatitis C drug Incivek gets ‘black box’ warning over possible fatal skin condition
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Food and Drug Administration is attaching a black box warning to the Vertex Pharmaceuticals hepatitis C treatment Incivek over a potentially fatal rash.

Weighing the hepatitis C risk for baby boomers
Millions may not know they are infected, but widespread testing is up for debate

Doctors for years have urged people with very specific risk factors — a history of intravenous drug use, needlestick injuries, or a medical record that includes a blood transfusion or organ transplant— to be tested for hepatitis C.

Fourth Street Clinic provides costly hepatitis C treatments
Hepatitis C » In a grueling half-year process, Fourth Street Clinic facilitates weekly shots that can cost $500 each.

Jamie Barnard may feel like a lab rat for the next six months as she gives herself weekly interferon injections that she hopes will keep her hepatitis C virus in check for the rest of her life.

HIV and Hepatitis C Coinfection Raises Cognitive Impairment Risk for Men
A new study has found that HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection is associated with an elevated risk of cognitive impairment among men, aidsmap reports. Researchers from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs published their findings in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Chronic hepatitis C: new cause for optimism
Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is currently responsible for more U.S. deaths than HIV; is complicated to treat; is not vaccine preventable; and is a major driver of liver transplants, cirrhosis, chronic and end-stage liver disease, and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C virus takes over invaded cell by hijacking protein making machinery
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have figured out intimate details of how the hepatitis C virus takes over an invaded cell, a breakthrough that could point to way for new treatments for the virus.

One Man's Harrowing Battle With Hepatitis C
(HealthDay News) — Ted Adamson’s liver had been so ravaged by the hepatitis C virus that he was nearly at the point of needing a liver transplant. Yet he had no symptoms. None. He didn't even feel tired.

Week Ending December 16, 2012

Why the CDC's new hepatitis C recommendations for boomers are a no-brainer
“When Martha Saly, director of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR), learned she had hepatitis C, a virus that attacks the liver, she was in disbelief. Saly never suspected she might be infected with the hepatitis C virus, and unfortunately, cases like Saly’s are not uncommon.”

Task Force’s Draft Recommendation on Hepatitis C Misses the Mark for Baby Boomers
Statement from IDSA President David A. Relman, MD, FIDSA, on U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Draft Recommendations on Hepatitis C Screening

“The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is gravely concerned that an estimated 800,000 baby boomers may not realize they have a potentially deadly virus if draft recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force regarding screening for hepatitis C virus are adopted. The Task Force’s draft is at odds with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Professor Receives $1.6 Million to Study Potential Hepatitis C Drugs
UM graduate students contribute to pharmaceutical research

OXFORD, Miss. – “A University of Mississippi pharmacognosy professor has been awarded a $1.6 million Research Project Grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct studies on potential drugs for hepatitis C.”

USC Researchers Find Clue to How Hepatitis C Virus Harms the Liver
“Researchers at the University of Southern California have discovered a trigger by which the hepatitis C virus enters liver cells — shedding light on how this serious and potentially deadly virus can begin to damage the liver.”

Chronic hepatitis C: new cause for optimism
“Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is currently responsible for more U.S. deaths than HIV; is complicated to treat; is not vaccine preventable; and is a major driver of liver transplants, cirrhosis, chronic and end-stage liver disease, and liver cancer.”

Adherence to hepatitis C treatment: unravelling the complexities
“Successful adherence to hepatitis C treatment may require physicians and care teams to address a wide range of factors, according to research from the United States and Germany presented at The Liver Meeting 2012, the 63rd annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in Boston last month.”

New York City has high rates of STDs, TB and hepatitis C
“A recently re–examined study of New York City ZIP codes showed that several disease rates in some areas are soaring.”

Triple therapy has poor safety in cirrhotic hepatitis C
BOSTON – “In patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infections and compensated cirrhosis, a combination of a direct–acting antiviral agent, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin produced high on-treatment virologic response rates, but at the cost of significantly increased toxicities in an interim analysis of a French multicenter trial looking at the safety of the regimen.”

Week Ending December 9, 2012

Hepatitis C testing program seeks to increase prevention, early diagnosis and care
“With funding support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory School of Medicine internist Lesley Miller, MD, is leading a hepatitis C virus testing program at the Liver Clinic at Grady Memorial Hospital. The program is called TILT–C (internal medicine Trainees Identifying and Linking to Treatment for hepatitis C).”

Aging hepatitis C population escalates demand for liver transplantation
Increase driven by liver cancer development in baby boomers

“New research reveals that the greatest demand for liver transplantation due to hepatitis C (HCV)–related liver disease occurs among Americans born between 1941 and 1960. Findings in the December issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), suggest that continuing increased demand for transplantation is driven by the development of liver cancer in baby boomers with HCV, but that the demand may decrease as patients born in this time period continue to grow older.”

Medicare funding threat lifted: After hep C outbreak, Exeter Hospital now meeting all conditions of participating in program
EXETER – “Exeter Hospital is no longer in danger of losing its Medicare and Medicaid funding after problems were discovered following a hepatitis C outbreak last spring.”

Health Minister: Two billion people worldwide infected with Hepatatis B
“Available statistical data indicates that approximately 2 billion people worldwide have been infected with hepatitis B and more than 350 million people live with a chronic form of the disease, Cypriot Minister of Health Androula Agrotou said earlier.”

Week Ending December 2, 2012

Hepatitis C Reaching Crisis Levels; Requires Coverage for Routine Screenings
“As the countdown to implementation of the Affordable Care Act begins in earnest, experts on the front lines in fighting viral hepatitis and HIV/AIDS issued this harsh assessment regarding escalating levels of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection: unless policymakers require insurers to cover the costs of screening everyone at potential risk for HCV, rates of cirrhosis and liver cancer will continue to rise and become a major drain on the healthcare system.”

Less Support for Hepatitis C Testing for Baby Boomers
“An influential advisory committee has given only lukewarm support to a government recommendation that all baby boomers be tested for hepatitis C.”

Liver Cancer Spikes Among Spanish Coinfected With HIV, Hepatitis
“A new study conducted by Spanish researchers has sounded the alarm that rates of liver cancer are rising dramatically among people with HIV, solely as a result of coinfection with either hepatitis B, C or both, aidsmap reports. Published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, the analysis of records from 18 hospitals in Spain concerning HIV patients between 1999 to 2010 offered a grim portrait: Those with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, the most common liver cancer) were often diagnosed late and had generally poor prognoses; and less than a third of the liver cancer patients coinfected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) ever received antiviral treatment.”

No Interventions Proven to Reduce Mother-to-child Transmission of Hepatitis C
“Researchers have found no clear proof that any intervention reduces the risk for mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. More than 40,000 children are born to HCV-positive women each year.”

Vet Wins $1.25M in Hep C Case Against VA Hospital
“A failure by Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center staff to properly clean colonoscopy equipment likely infected a patient with hepatitis C, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.”

Ex-hospital worker indicted in hepatitis C infections
(CNN) – “A federal grand jury in New Hampshire has indicted a former hospital worker on fraud and product-tampering charges in connection with an outbreak of hepatitis C that sickened more than 30 people, prosecutors announced Thursday.”

CDC Pushing Hepatitis C Tests For Baby Boomers
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that every Baby Boomer in the nation be tested for Hepatitis C.”

State of Michigan gets hepatitis prevention, surveillance grant
LANSING (WKZO) – “The Michigan Department of Community Health is taking in a grant for one–point–six million dollars for the surveillance and prevention of acute and viral hepatitis. The grant is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it's the first time the state is getting funding for viral hepatitis surveillance.”

More positive data on Gilead's hep C drug sofosbuvir
“Gilead Sciences has presented promising top-line results from a Phase III trial investigating a combination treatment for hepatitis C virus based around its experimental drug sofosbuvir.”

Week Ending November 25, 2012

FDA OKs Hep C Indication for Promacta
“The FDA has approved eltrombopag (Promacta) for the additional indication of treating low blood platelet counts in patients with chronic hepatitis C.”

Heroin use linked to hepatitis C increase
“The growing use of heroin in central Wisconsin is contributing to an increase in hepatitis C virus cases seen at local hospitals. Since the state began tracking the number of reported cases in 2000, the number has more than doubled for Marathon, Portage and Wood counties.”

Robert Metzler colonoscopy hepatitis C lawsuit: South Florida veteran awarded $1.25 million
MIAMI – “An Air Force veteran and his wife have won a combined $1.25 million lawsuit against the U.S. government because he likely contracted hepatitis C at the Miami Veterans Administration Medical Center.”

Trial Enrollment Begins for Abbott's Hep C Trio
“Following a mid-stage study showing extremely high cure rates, the Phase III trial for Abbott's direct acting antiviral drugs are now recruiting participants with Hepatitis C genotype 1.”

Ontario doctors question long wait for hepatitis C drug Incivek
“Doctors of patients with the potentially fatal liver disease hepatitis C are questioning why Ontario hasn’t followed the federal government and seven provinces in approving a widely acclaimed new drug.”

Researcher hunts for hepatitis C cure
“A deadly virus with no symptoms until its end stages, the liver disease hepatitis C could threaten the health of the largest population in North America - baby boomers.”

Cases highlight tension between records requests and privacy protections
“When physicians receive a legal request to turn over medical records, they should think twice about fulfilling it, attorneys and other experts say.”

Week Ending November 18, 2012

New Second Generation Combination Therapy For HCV - First Or Best In The Market (Part 1)
“This article is Part 1 in a series about Hepatitis C intended to provide an update and fundamental analysis of the companies that are actively pursuing the development of an all oral therapy for HCV. The series will cover the major players in the HCV space, including Gilead (GILD), Bristol–Myers Squibb (BMY), Roche (RHHBY.OB), Abbott (ABT), Achillion (ACHN), J&J (JNJ), Vertex (VRTX), Idenix (IDIX). Here we discuss Gilead and Bristol–Myers Squibb.”

Hep C Protease Inhibitor Incivek Is Safe, Effective for HIV Coinfection
“People living with both HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) experience high hepatitis cure rates from an Incivek (telaprevir)–based triple combination therapy, compared with those taking interferon and ribavirin alone, aidsmap reports. Vertex Pharmaceuticals presented the results of its Phase II trial at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AALSD) in Boston. The findings echoed and re–affirmed previous results announced at the 2012 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in March.”

Abbott says interferon-free hep C regimens will be studied in broad patient populations across multiple countries
“Abbott, a global, broad–based health care company, has released details on its phase III hepatitis C registrational programme following promising results from its phase II b clinical trial, known as Aviator. The phase III clinical trials are designed to evaluate safety and efficacy of a 12-week regimen of three direct acting antivirals (DAA), with and without ribavirin, for the treatment of HCV in genotype 1 (GT1) non–cirrhotic, treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients.”

Sofosbuvir demonstrates high response rate in interferon-free combination with ribavirin and GS-5885
“The hepatitis C polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir produced high rates of sustained virological response in genotype 1 patients when combined with ribavirin and the HCV NS5A inhibitor GS-5885, according to data presented this week at The Liver Meeting 2012, the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in Boston.”

Veterans twice as likely to be infected with chronic hepatitis C
“An estimated 3.2 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C, a potentially serious disease that, if left untreated, can damage the liver over time and lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, end–stage liver disease and liver cancer. Liver failure from chronic hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States.”

Stratham reps. to champion hepatitis C bills
EXETER – “Recently re-elected state Rep. Tim Copeland plans to see through legislation sponsored by Rep. Lee Quandt in response to the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital.”

Week Ending November 12, 2012

Investigational Hepatitis C Dual DAA Regimen of Daclatasvir and Asunaprevir Achieved SVR 12 in 78% of Difficult-to-Treat Genotype 1b Prior Null Responders In Expanded Phase II Study
“Bristol–Myers Squibb Company today announced new Phase II data demonstrating that the dual regimen of the investigational NS5A replication complex inhibitor daclatasvir (DCV) and the investigational NS3 protease inhibitor asunaprevir (ASV), without interferon or ribavirin, achieved high rates of sustained virologic response 12 weeks post–treatment (SVR12) in patients with genotype 1b (GT1b) hepatitis C virus (HCV) who were prior null responders to alfa interferon and ribavirin (alfa/RBV). In this study, the DCV/ASV Dual regimen achieved SVR12 in 78% (14/18) and 65% (13/20) of GT1b patients when asunaprevir was dosed twice daily (Group A1) or once daily (Group A2), respectively.”

Boehringer Ingelheim to start late-stage hepatitis C drug trial
(Reuters) – “Boehringer Ingelheim said on Saturday it plans to initiate a late-stage clinical trial of its experimental hepatitis C treatment following promising results from earlier studies.”

Hepatitis C drugs impressive in trial
“Cure rate unprecedented among patients unaided by previous therapy trio of oral medicines to treat hepatitis C produced an unprecedented cure rate in patients who had previously failed to benefit from standard treatment, plus a very high cure rate for newly treated patients, Abbott Laboratories Inc. said yesterday.”

Gilead posts positive results in mid-stage Hepatitis C study
(Reuters) – “Gilead Sciences Inc on Saturday reported a 100 percent cure rate using a combination of drugs in a small number of patients with the most common and hardest to treat form of hepatitis C.”

Vertex Presents New Phase 3 Data that Showed People with Hepatitis C Treated with Twice-Daily Telaprevir Achieved Viral Cure (SVR12) Rates Similar to Those Treated Three Times Daily
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated today announced that new data from a Phase 3 study in people being treated for hepatitis C for the first time showed similar rates of viral cure (SVR12, HCV RNA levels < 25 IU/mL 12 weeks after the end of all treatment) when telaprevir was given twice daily compared to three times daily, the currently approved dosing schedule.”

Black Women With Both HIV, Hep C Less Likely to Die From Liver Disease
Study compared black, white and Hispanic women with both viruses

“Black women infected with both hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV are less likely to die from liver disease than white or Hispanic women with the two infections, a new study finds.”

Week Ending November 4, 2012

Six Late-breaking Abstracts Selected for Oral Presentation at The Liver Meeting®
“Late-breaking Oral Session Monday, November 12, 2012 – 3:00-4:30 pm Auditorium, Hynes Convention Center”

Hospital Says It Will Comply with Hepatitis C Probe
A judge order the hospital to give investigators access to its medical records.

“Exeter Hospital officials said they will comply with a judge's order to give investigators access to medical records for a probe into a hepatitis C outbreak.”

Vertex Enters New Hep C Collaborations With J&J, Glaxo
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals is pairing up with Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline in separate collaborations that will study new all-oral combination therapies for hepatitis C, the companies said Thursday.”

Tying Joint Pain and Hepatitis C Together
“Although not viewed as a common symptom of liver disease, joint pain is a frequently encountered problem for those living with chronic Hepatitis C. Often going undiagnosed in its earliest stages, Hepatitis C sufferers rarely exhibit symptoms during their first decade of infection.”

Pretreatment Care Predicts HCV Outcomes
“Patients with hepatitis C infections are more likely to initiate appropriate antiviral therapy and achieve a sustained virologic response if they receive high quality health care, Dr. Fasiha Kanwal of the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, and her colleagues reported in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.”

Week Ending October 28, 2012

Antiviral drugs could cut liver cancer risk from Hepatitis C
“There is close to 200 million people around the world who are infected with hepatitis C, or HCV, a viral disease that is commonly transmitted sexually or through contaminated blood transfusions.”

Hepatitis C leading cause of liver cancer
“Nearly 5 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, but 75 percent of people with the disease don’t know they have it because it is often symptomless for decades.”

Rapid and point-of-care tests accurate, convenient for hepatitis C screening
“Rapid and point-of-care screening tests for hepatitis C have a high accuracy and quick turnaround time, suggest results of a systematic review and meta-analysis.”

Prisoners, hard hit by hepatitis C, decry lack of access to drugs
“David Proulx was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2003, but he suspects he contracted the virus decades earlier. He injected drugs in the 1970s and picked up several tattoos when he was first incarcerated in the early 1980s.”

W.Va. buys more hepatitis C kits
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – “A state health agency no longer has a shortage of blood test kits for hepatitis C, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.”

HCV Admissions Rise While HIV Ones Fall
SAN DIEGO – “Hospital admission rates for people with hepatitis C have risen nearly five–fold over a 15-year period, a researcher said here.”

Week Ending October 14, 2012

Vitamin D deficiency associated with a poorer response to HCV treatment in HIV/HCV-co-infected patients
“Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a poorer response to hepatitis C therapy in people who are co–infected with HIV and hepatitis C, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. Austrian researchers found that people with vitamin D deficiency were significantly less likely to have an early or sustained response to treatment than those with normal levels of the vitamin. This was especially the case for people with established risk factors for a poorer response to hepatitis C therapy, such as infection with genotypes 1 or 4, or a high hepatitis C viral load.”

ICAAC 2012: Hepatitis C Can Be Successfully Treated in Injection Drugs Users with or without HIV
“HIV negative and HIV positive chronic hepatitis patients in Vancouver with a history of injection drug use — most of whom were on methadone maintenance — achieved sustained response rates with interferon–based therapy similar to those of non–users, researchers reported at the 52nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2012) last month in San Francisco.”

Rwanda: Health Ministry Issues Hepatitis Warning
“Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) has made a call to the general public to be cautious and protect themselves against hepatitis.”

Medical Reports: Hailey's Hope
“Tonight, a health warning for South Florida. A young woman and a team of doctors want to get the word out about a life–threatening viral infection that many don't even know it. 7’s Lynn Martinez has tonight's Medical Report, Hailey's Hope.”

NASH Spikes as Reason For Liver Transplant
Obesity Faulted; Study Shows Transplant Helps Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Patients

“America”s stretched donor pool and limited resources for transplant will come under further stress in the next decade as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) supplants hepatitis C as the primary indication for liver transplant, experts say.”

Fla. judge finds in favor of vet in hepatitis case
MIAMI – “A Miami federal judge ruled in favor of a veteran who says shoddy hygiene practices at a Veterans Administration hospital caused his hepatitis infection.”

Update on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Hepatitis C
“HCV infection is a national and global public health concern, affecting up to 4 million individuals in the United States and 200 million individuals worldwide. Despite a declining incidence of new HCV infections in the United States, the prevalence of advanced liver disease secondary to chronic HCV infection, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, is expected to rise in the coming years.”

Auditor General Jack Wagner Urges General Assembly, Health Dept. to Begin Licensing of Pa. Tattoo Parlors
“Auditor General Jack Wagner today called on the General Assembly and the state the Department of Health to step up the state's role in regulating the tattoo parlor industry in Pennsylvania because of potential health risks to the general public, including Hepatitis C.”

Care center offers hepatitis C testing, support
“In the year 2020, the hottest item for sale on eBay will be a healthy human liver. Not really; that’s just a dark inside joke between staff members at Southwest Care Center.”

Week Ending September 30, 2012

Treating hepatitis C infection in prison is good public policy
“Incarcerated patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are just as likely to respond to treatment for the disease as patients in the community, according to findings published in the October issue of Hepatology, a peer–reviewed journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. The study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) in Madison found that HCV patients in prison were just as likely to achieve a sustained viral response (SVR) as non–incarcerated patients.”

Beware baby boomers: Hepatitis C can remain symptomless
“Baby boomers account for three of every four adults with hepatitis C. Baby boomers account for three of every four adults with hepatitis C.”

Uncovering a Silent Killer: Hepatitis C
“What virus infects 3.2 million Americans, leads to 15,000 deaths each year, and is a major contributor to the fastest–growing lethal cancer in the U.S.? It’s hepatitis C, and the vast majority of people who are infected don’t even know it, since the virus can be symptomless for years or even decades. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that every American born from 1945 to 1965 get tested for exposure to hepatitis C, which can lead to liver disease and liver cancer.”

DOC report points to prison healthcare atrocities
PHOENIX (CBS5) – “Inmates not getting their medication, exposed to Hepatitis C, even committing suicide - all happened on Wexford Health Sources' watch.”

Ethicists question doctor’s pitch for a hepatitis C drug trial
Hepatitis C patients told of potential cure

EXETER, N.H. – “They filed into the hotel conference room, faces pinched with worry, drawn by the prospect of an escape from hepatitis C.”

Week Ending September 23, 2012

Better Hepatitis C Treatment Is Costly for Prisons
“Tattooing is ubiquitous behind bars, despite – or perhaps because of – the fact that it is banned.”

Proposed Expansion of Screening for HIV and Hepatitis C Could be Good News/Bad News Stories for Clinical Pathology Laboratories
“Expanded universal screening would increase costs to the healthcare system; would the healthcare system shortchange clinical labs inadequate reimbursement for the increased number of screening tests?”

Early diagnosis of Hepatitis can prevent cancer: Expert
“Hepatitis – “Know it, confront it and get tested” as this can affect anyone, according to an expert who said that the disease should be diagnosed early to avoid cirrhosis and cancer.”

Hep C Lawsuit Against Exeter Hospital Includes 169 Patients
An Exeter Hospital worker was arrested for allegedly starting a hepatitis C outbreak.

“A class–action lawsuit against Exeter Hospital for a disastrous hepatitis C outbreak now includes 169 patients.”

Toumpas says budget cuts may have role in hepatitis response
CONCORD – “The state’s health and human services commissioner says budget cuts have “certainly impacted” his department, but he could not “draw a straight line” and say those cuts impaired its response to the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital earlier this year.”

UK Research Aims to Reduce Spread of HIV and Hepatitis in Women
LEXINGTON, KY (9/19/12) – “Researchers at the University of Kentucky have embarked on a five–year study that aims to lower behavioral risks of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C (HCV) among disadvantaged, rural women in Appalachian Kentucky.”

The odds are too high to ignore
“If 100 people are infected with hepatitis C, about 25 will clear the virus spontaneously and completely within six months of infection. They will still have antibodies in their blood and if exposed again can become re-infected.”

Hepatitis C treatment comes to Berkeley County
New doctor at Shenandoah Community Health saves two-hour trip for residents

MARTINSBURG, WV – “Before Dr. Sheikh Parviz joined the infectious disease team at Shenandoah Community Health in Martinsburg, individuals with hepatitis C had to travel to Morgantown to receive care. Parviz arrived in the Eastern Panhandle to provide treatment to individuals with the disease, and is currently using a new method of treatment that provides greater results.”

Week Ending September 16, 2012

Liver cancer to double by 2020
“The number of Australians with liver cancer will double by 2020 due to unchecked and soaring viral hepatitis infections, experts have predicted.”

Hepatitis C: A public health problem with a solution
“July 28 marked the World Health Organization’s World Hepatitis Day, and the message is simple: early detection of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) saves lives. All individuals have a role to play if we are to curb the burden of this disease in Canada.”

Baltimore Officer Survives Second Life Threat
Gene Cassidy survived after taking two shots to the head in 1987 as he attempted to make an arrest, and has now survived end-stage cirrhosis of the liver, caused by hepatitis C contracted during his treatment.

“Gene Cassidy thought he was lucky enough to survive one life–threatening event, but never thought he would face a second.”

Hepatitis C drugs offer hope for cure
“Scientific breakthroughs, one piled on top of another at breakneck speed over the past few years, have put medical researchers on the cusp of curing almost everyone who suffers from hepatitis C, if not wiping out the disease entirely.”

Hep C concerns for HIV positive men
“An Australian expert has called for an urgent rethink on the relationship between HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) as emerging evidence shows hepatitis C can be sexually transmitted between HIV–positive men.”

Doctor says region needs clinic to help battle Hepatitis C
Canada – “Health authority says it's developing a plan to help address needs of patients A Nanaimo family doctor says more needs to be done to diagnose and treat Hepatitis C, a growing concern for the region.”

Confidential Hepatitis C test for Baby Boomers is now offered by ANY LAB TEST NOW®
Anonymous testing allows those included in this age group to get tested for this contagious disease without the social stigma.

“ANY LAB TEST NOW® offers a confidential blood test that can detect Hepatitis C, with results back in 24-48 hours. Baby boomers are particularly at-risk because they came of age prior to the medical and lifestyle precautions that surfaced during the HIV outbreak in the 1980s. They weren't aware of the dangers of sharing needles, for example, and hospitals didn't take the same precautions during blood transfusions.”

Ordeal of hepatitis C treatment worth it
“Daniel Berrner was diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis C in 2005, but it took four years to get the HIV infection under control enough to tackle the hepatitis C. Berrner stayed at Laguna Honda Hospital during the nearly yearlong treatment for hepatitis C, which involved multiple injections of interferon every week and daily doses of ribavirin. Both drugs are known to cause significant emotional and physical side effects, and the treatment sometimes fails.”

Hepatitis C outbreak: Man gets 30 years for infecting patients
“A 49-year-old Jacksonville man was sentenced this week to 30 years in federal prison for intentionally spreading Hepatitis C at the Mayo Clinic's Interventional Radiology Unit when he was radiology technician.”

Week Ending September 9, 2012

Time to lift hepatitis C stigma
“New Zealand Needle Exchange National Manager Charles Henderson says New Zealanders need to wake up to the fact that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) can affect anyone and that stigmatising those with the disease could be doing the whole population harm.”

Direct acting antivirals for Hepatitis C
“Roche has launched an ultra–sensitive HCV RNA test to laboratories throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland giving doctors access to clinically relevant results, enabling optimal clinical decision–making.”

Hepatitis epidemic must be tackled to stop liver cancer cases

“THE number of new cases of liver cancer will soar in Australia over the next decade unless urgent action is taken to diagnose and treat an epidemic of viral hepatitis, experts warn.”

Love your liver
“Firefighter Gary Hails is a baby boomer with a message: Get yourself tested for hepatitis C. Though hepatitis, a viral infection that affects the liver, has many forms, it's the C version that's recently hit the news. A couple of weeks ago, the U.S.–based Centers for Disease Control recommended that all boomers get tested for the infection, which often remains undiagnosed but ultimately can be fatal.”

Out of sight, out of mind
“On Aug. 27, a nurse working for a company called Wexford Health Sources Inc. administered a dose of insulin to a diabetic patient who has hepatitis C, a deadly and extremely infectious liver disease.”

Holyoke's arrival at needle exchange a rough road despite doctors, other specialists trumpeting its effectiveness
HOLYOKE – “When the Board of Health gave its approval last month, Holyoke became only the fifth city in the state to permit operation of a needle exchange program since a 1993 law began allowing such facilities.”

Increase of Hepatitis seen in the Four States
“The number of cases of Hepatitis C in the area has largely increased over the past year says the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Dr. Uwe Schmidt.”

State urges baby boomers to get hepatitis C test
“The Alabama Department of Public Health is encouraging those born between 1945 and 1965 to get tested for hepatitis C.”

Chronic hepatitis C virus infection increases risk of death from both liver disease and non-liver-related causes
“As well as increasing the risk of death from liver disease, chronic hepatitis C virus infection increased the risk of death from circulatory and kidney disease as well as several non–liver–related cancers, investigators report in the August 15th edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.”

Week Ending September 2, 2012

Now, antibody to prevent hepatitis C infection
Scientists claim to have developed a monoclonal antibody therapy that prevents infection by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by blocking its ability to enter liver cells.Researchers found that the human monoclonal antibody targeting the virus protected chimpanzees from HCV infection in a dose-dependent manner in a study conducted at Texas Biomed's Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio.

New hep C drugs to be listed on PBS- Australia
Two long-awaited new drugs for hepatitis C are set to receive the nod for public funding, in a move predicted to “transform the lives” of Australians living with the virus. Telaprevir (Incivo) and boceprevir (Victrelis), the first in a new class of HCV-protease inhibitors, have been shown to increase cure rates and shorten treatment duration in genotype 1 hepatitis C.

Massive increase of hepatitis C incidence in HIV–positive gay men in Switzerland
Incidence of hepatitis C virus infections has increased eighteen fold in HIV-positive gay men in Switzerland since 1998, investigators report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Half of all infections in gay men occurred between 2008 and 2011. In contrast, incidence of hepatitis C fell in HIV–positive injecting drug users and remained stable in HIV-positive heterosexuals.

Israel's Ministry of Health approves Medgenics’ INFRADURE Phase I/II clinical trials for hepatitis C
Medgenics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: MDGN and AIM: MEDU, MEDG), the developer of Biopump™, a novel technology for the sustained production and delivery of therapeutic proteins in patients using their own tissue, today announced that Israel's Ministry of Health (MOH) has approved two Phase I/II clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of INFRADURE™ in patients with hepatitis C. One study will evaluate previously untreated patients with genotypes 1 and 3, and the other will study genotype 1 patients who have relapsed after initially responding to prior treatments.

Idenix plunges after FDA puts another hep C treatment on hold
Read more: Idenix plunges after FDA puts another hep C treatment on hold - FierceBiotech Idenix already faces a partial clinical hold on its top hepatitis C program. Now the FDA has stepped in to add a clinical hold on its preclinical therapy IDX19368, another nucleotide polymerase inhibitor, or "nuc," in the pipeline. The biotech ($IDIX) also spelled out some added safety checks for its lead hep C treatment, which the company says can be completed in a matter of weeks. But its shares swiftly plunged on the fresh round of troubling news.

Week Ending August 26, 2012

Exeter Hospital launches voluntary hep C tests for about 500 workers
EXETER – Exeter Hospital is notifying approximately 500 employees and affiliated clinicians that they should be tested for hepatitis C following an outbreak at the hospital that resulted in the infection of more than 30 patients.

David Kwiatkowski Hepatitis C Case Could Help Pass Federal Legislation
When it comes to passing legislation, the amount of support you can get will determine success or failure. Many would want to see the necessity of having such legislation or it will be put on hold for another time. That seemed to be the case regarding legislation concerning Hepatitis C until a case of a medical technologist suspected of infecting patients with the disease might provide the boost it needs to pass.

Molecular and protein markers predict liver transplant failure in hepatitis C patients
Researchers have discovered molecular and protein signatures that predict rapid onset of liver damage in hepatitis C patients following a liver transplant. The markers appeared soon after transplant and well before clinical evidence of liver damage.

Maui AIDS Foundation Helps with New Hep C Recommendations
The Maui AIDS Foundation is offering support with the implementation of a new recommendation issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all persons born in the US between 1945 and 1965 receive a one-time hepatitis C test. In support of the recommendation, the Maui AIDS Foundation is offering free, confidential Hep C and HIV testing Monday to Friday at their office in Wailuku, located at 1935 Main Street, Suite 101. Results are available in 20 minutes. To schedule an appointment, the number to call is 242–4900.

Another View: Hepatitis C check makes the case for health-care law
The Des Moines (Iowa) Register – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a message for baby boomers: Get tested for hepatitis C. This group makes up two–thirds of the Americans infected with the potentially liver–destroying virus. The blood test to check for exposure is simple.

More than 60 test positive for hepatitis, but state finds no link to Dean Clinic incident
More than 60 Dean Clinic patients and family members tested positive for hepatitis, but the state found no link to the diabetes nurse educator who mistakenly reused insulin devices.

Bristol-Myers drops hepatitis C drug after patient death
(Reuters) – Bristol-Myers Squibb Co has discontinued development of an experimental hepatitis C drug after a patient treated with it during a clinical trial died of heart failure and several others were hospitalized, the company said on Thursday.

Targeting inflammation to prevent, treat cancers
Researchers at the Georgia Health Sciences University Cancer Center have identified a gene that disrupts the inflammatory process implicated in liver cancer. Laboratory mice bred without the gene lacked a pro-inflammatory protein called TREM-1 and protected them from developing liver cancer after exposure to carcinogens.

Week Ending August 19, 2012

Recommendations for the Identification of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection Among Persons Born During 1945–1965
“Summary – Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Many of the 2.7–3.9 million persons living with HCV infection are unaware they are infected and do not receive care (e.g., education, counseling, and medical monitoring) and treatment.”

Infections among homeless could fuel wider epidemics
“Homeless people across the world have dramatically higher rates of infection with tuberculosis (TB), HIV and hepatitis C and could fuel community epidemics that cost governments dear, a study showed on Monday.”

‘Heroes of Chemistry’ award to hepatitis C team from Merck
“The American Chemical Society will hold its 224th national meeting in Philadelphia starting Sunday and the five-day gathering kickoffs with a dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel to honor "Heroes of Chemistry.".”

Laurier students face slight risk of Hep B,C, HIV after class test
WATERLOO – “Wilfrid Laurier University has notified 200 former kinesiology students that there is an "extremely low risk" they may have contracted a blood–borne disease.”

Hep. C test results pending
Nearly 1,000 attend clinic after Exeter Hospital outbreak

STRATHAM – “More than 900 people were tested on Friday and Saturday during the first state–run hepatitis C testing clinic at the Cooperative Middle School.”

Murder Charges Filed in Hep C Outbreak
LAS VEGAS (CN) – “The much–sued doctor at the center of Nevada’s hepatitis C outbreak faces murder charges now, after a grand jury indicted him and two anesthetists on a second-degree murder charge, after the death of a patient.”

Week Ending August 12, 2012

What's Going Around: Hepatitis C
Around the country, 15,000 people die from Hepatitis C every year and many don't even know they have it.

SPRINGFIELD, MO – “Around the country, 15,000 people die from Hepatitis C every year and many don't even know they have it.”

The Contraction Of Pharma Means Innovation Goes Out With a Bang
“Given all the analyses and post-mortems of America’s pharmaceutical industry, it is impossible to avoid the notion that a “lack of innovation” has left the industry in its current, sorry state.”

Achillion hepatitis C drug shows promise in mid-stage study
(Reuters) – “Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental hepatitis C drug showed promising interim data in a mid–stage trial, sending its shares higher in extended trade.”

Hepatitis C panel looks at drug-testing
BRENTWOOD – “An ad hoc committee met for the first time Wednesday night to review failures in the health care industry that led to the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital — with an eye to crafting legislation to prevent a similar crisis.”

New treatment for hepatitis C victims could be ready by September
EXETER – “Victims of the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital learned more about the medical and legal options available to them at a forum in Exeter Tuesday.”

Pakistan has second highest rate of Hepatitis:WHO
Islamabad –“World Health Organization (WHO) has rated Pakistan as 2nd Country in the world having high rates of chronic infections. About 8.6 Million Pakistanis are affected with Hepatitis C, the WHO report said.”

Silent viruses often go undetected – are you at risk?
“In the shadow of World Hepatitis Day, Snohomish County Health officials urge that testing is important for those who have been exposed to the symptomless virus.”

Week Ending August 5, 2012

NH DHHS calling patients for hepatitis C tests
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – “New Hampshire health officials are calling thousands of people who may have been exposed to hepatitis C by a hospital technician now facing criminal charges.”

Hepatitis C suspect was fired for alleged AZ drug abuse
PHOENIX (CBS5) – “The man accused of infecting dozens of patients in the U.S. with Hepatitis C tested positive for drug use after he was found unresponsive in a locker room two years ago at an Arizona hospital where he had a contracted assignment, according to officials.”

Temple offers hep C testing
“Temple University Hospital is contacting and offering free hepatitis C testing to 312 patients who had procedures in the Interventional Radiology Department during the three-week employment of a medical technician accused of infecting 30 patients in New Hampshire, Temple said Friday.”

Another Michigan hospital linked to worker in New Hampshire hepatitis C case
LANSING, MI – “Michigan health officials have added another hospital to the list of locations where certain patients should look into getting tested for hepatitis C.”

Bristol–Myers Halts Hepatitis C Trial as Pipeline Stumbles
“Bristol–Myers Squibb lost ground in the race to develop a stand-alone hepatitis C pill after the company suspended testing of an experimental drug that cost it $2.5 billion to acquire earlier this year.”

Week Ending July 29, 2012

Foreign media disclose hepatitis numbers on World Hepatitis Day 2012
“With the observation of World Hepatitis Day 2012 on Saturday, July 28, media outlets globally wrote about the incredibly large numbers of people infected with the liver viruses in their own countries.”

Letters to Arizona patients will urge hepatitis C tests
“Nearly 300 people will be getting a letter next week from health officials urging them to test themselves for hepatitis C.”

Officials Delay Hepatitis C Testing For NH Hospital Patients
“Thousands of people already angry and worried about whether they’ve been exposed to hepatitis c at a New Hampshire hospital now have a new frustration. The testing they were supposed to have for the potentially fatal disease is now delayed.””

Scientists identify likely predictors of hepatitis C severity: viral evolution and host protein levels
“Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have identified several factors in people infected with the hepatitis C virus that may predict whether the unusually rapid progression of disease from initial infection to severe liver conditions, such as cirrhosis, will occur. Knowing whether a patient's condition is likely to deteriorate quickly could help physicians decide on the best course of treatment.”

Week Ending July 22, 2012

Hepatitis C Patients Speak Out on Infection Control
LAS VEGAS – “Nearly 60,000 patients in southern Nevada were notified in 2008 that they may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV because of unsafe injection practices. It was one of the largest health scares in the country.”

Study Shows Nothing Beneficial In Treating Hepatitis C With Milk Thistle Extract
“Use of the botanical product silymarin, an extract of milk thistle that is commonly used by some patients with chronic liver disease, did not provide greater benefit than placebo for patients with treatment-resistant chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to a study in the July 18 issue of JAMA.”

Adding Vitamin B12 to Standard Drugs Might Help Fight Hepatitis C
Small study suggests a benefit, but experts are more cautious about the results

“Taking vitamin B12 supplements may help boost the effectiveness of antiviral drugs for patients infected with hepatitis C virus, a new study suggests.”

Hepatitis C No Longer a Lifelong Illness: New Book from Hepatology Expert Documents Pathway to Cure
“Leading hepatologist and hepatitis C expert Gregory Everson, M.D. provides state-of-the-science information in "Curing Hepatitis C" — a new book that outlines the latest treatment protocols that offer the outcome of complete cure from this disease.”

Many Canadians can now be cured of hepatitis C but more trained nurses and doctors are needed
“On the eve of World Hepatitis Day (July 28), the Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses (CAHN) takes stock of the strides made in the management of hepatitis C over the last year as well as the current and future challenges that treaters face.”

Week Ending July 15, 2012

8,000 patients advised to get HIV, Hepatitis tests after dentist caught reusing needles & syringes
“Colorado health officials are warning dental patients to get tested for HIV and hepatitis after finding that a dentist commonly reused needles and syringes, a practice known to transmit infections, for twelve years.”

A stealthy killer, hepatitis C needs wider screening
“If you're a baby boomer, it's possible that you're walking around with hepatitis C and you don't know it.”

Hepatitis C Virus Levels Higher in Certain Injection Drug Users
Blacks, men, people with HIV had more virus, which affects treatment response: CDC

“Among injection-drug users in the United States infected with hepatitis C, virus levels are highest among blacks, males and those who are also infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, a new study finds.”

Hepatitis C Rates Rise Among Johnson County Young Adults
Missouri – “While the Johnson County health department now says cases of whooping cough are on the decline in the region, health officials have noted a rise in another disease in area young adults: Hepatitis C.”

Springfield-Greene County Health Dept. Begins Hepatitis C Testing
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – “The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is now offering Hepatitis C testing. Health officials say patients can now be tested weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the clinic at 227 E. Chestnut Expressway.”

Tapestry Health Begins Needle Exchange Program in Holyoke
HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) – “In an effort to prevent the spread of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, a new needle exchange program has launched in Holyoke.”

Cleveland VA expands telemedicine program to bring veterans specialty care at outpatient clinics
CLEVELAND, Ohio – “The Department of Veterans Affairs announced a new program Wednesday that with the help of telemedicine will make it possible to eventually treat thousands of veterans in their local communities for complex, chronic illnesses such as heart failure, chronic pain and Hepatitis C.”

HIV, hepatitis C often go hand in hand, infection experts say
“An HIV diagnosis comes with a litany of potential co-infections and diseases, but hepatitis C is one of the most common — and least understood. New Orleans and Baton Rouge continue to rank among the U.S. cities with the 10 highest HIV rates in 2009–2012 national surveillance reports. Those with HIV have a higher risk of becoming infected with hepatitis C as well.”

Week Ending July 8, 2012

Hepatitis C treatment offers new hope
“When left untreated, hepatitis C, the potentially deadly viral infection with a propensity to attack the liver, leads to chronic liver disease in the majority of cases. But physicians now say there is hope and help for the disease that is a cause of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and end–stage liver disease leading to liver transplantation.”

Local clinics offer rapid results for hepatitis C
“As testing options expand for HIV, some local clinics are offering rapid results for another devastating infectious illness.”

End needle exchange ban, health advocates tell B.C. city
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – “Once a week, Jamie MacDonald walks down a quiet alley in this sprawling community in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, finds a familiar black SUV and picks up a package of clean needles, alcohol swabs and other supplies for injecting heroin.”

Baby boomers unknowingly infected with hepatitis C
Maryland health officials trying to get more people tested

“When Alan Shackelford's ankles would swell up, he brushed it off as another sign of getting older — only to find out it was a symptom of something much worse.”

Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital in N.H. grows to 27 cases, lawsuits follow
(CBS News) “A hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire has grown to 27 cases of infected patient, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Monday.”

Week Ending July 1, 2012

Local hospitals treat the uninsured for hepatitis C
“People with hepatitis C may have problems finding health insurance – because the virus is a pre-existing condition – if the U.S. Supreme Court deems the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.”

AASLD, EASL to hold special conference on therapy of HCV
“The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), together with the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), will be holding an exciting "Special Conference" dedicated to the timely topic of:  “Therapy of Hepatitis C: Clinical Application and Drug Development”

A boomer balancing act: Treat hepatitis C now, or wait?
“Roughly two million to three million baby boomers are chronically infected with hepatitis C, putting them at risk of serious liver damage if left untreated. Dramatic improvements in what is now a very unpleasant drug regimen are expected over the next several years.”

New regimen for hep C is possible for local patients
Experimental medication would require FDA waiver

EXETER – “Some Exeter Hospital patients who contracted hepatitis C while being treated in the cardiac catheterization laboratory might benefit from an experimental medication, according to several expert sources.”

Hepatitis C doctor talks about positive outcomes
EXETER – “A Boston doctor known internationally for his work in treating hepatitis C patients offered hope Tuesday night for victims of an outbreak at Exeter Hospital.”

Hep C needle attacker gets 30 months in prison
“Darrell Phelan, 31, of St. John's, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for stabbing his ex-girlfriend with a hepatitis C–contaminated bloody syringe.”

Hepatitis C patients petition for life-saving drug combination
SAN ANTONIO – “South Texas patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have launched a petition to speed up development of some promising new drugs. They believe a pharmaceutical company is putting profits ahead of people.”

Week Ending June 25, 2012

Boomers' Hepatitis C Test And Denied Insurance Concerns Unwarranted, Experts Say
“Headlines were made last month when the CDC released a draft proposal urging all baby boomers to get tested for hepatitis C, the blood-borne liver disease. Now there's a debate as to whether or not a positive test result for the chronic disease will ruin boomer's chances at receiving insurance, due to the dreaded pre-existing conditions clause insurers often use to deny coverage, MSNBC reports.”

Medics want to screen fathers-to-be for hepatitis C to prevent liver disease epidemic
“FATHERS–TO–BE should be screened for hepatitis at the same time as their pregnant partners to combat a looming epidemic of liver disease in Australia.”

New Legislation Proposed After Hep C Outbreak
“Common–sense” action is needed, an advocate said.

“An Exeter lawmaker intends to file legislation to prevent another disaster like the Exeter Hospital hepatitis C outbreak that has infected at least 20 people.”

U. S. attorney, FBI join probe into hepatitis C outbreak as lawsuits emerge
EXETER, N.H. – “The U. S. attorney’s office has joined the investigation into the hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab.”

Hepatitis C support group sharing insights and battling stigmas
CANADA – “In a community battling hepatitis C rates that more than double the provincial rate, Prince Albert’s Hepatitis C Support Group serves an important role.”

Hepatitis C — Urgency to Fight Viral Foe Grows in the Suburbs and on the Streets
“At the edge of a San Francisco neighborhood that has been riddled with drug addiction for decades, UCSF epidemiologist Kimberly Page, PhD, MPS, leads a research team that provides outreach, screening and prevention programs for drug users.”

HIV/hepatitis C co-infection increases risk of hip fracture
“Co-infection with HIV and hepatitis C is associated with an increased risk of hip fracture, US investigators report in Hepatology. Hepatitis C monoinfection also increased the risk of this type of fracture. The authors suggest that this elevation in the risk of fracture could be caused by the inflammatory effects of these infections, but they also think that social and lifestyle factors are likely to be important contributory factors.”

Week Ending June 18, 2012

Study: 1 in 4 on LA's Skid Row carry hepatitis C
LOS ANGELES (AP) – “An estimated one in four Skid Row residents is infected with hepatitis C, more than 10 times the rate of the general population, according to local researchers.”

New hope for rising tide of boomers with hepatitis C
“Michael Secreto has no idea where he picked up hepatitis C. Tattoos made with India ink and needles passed among 12–year–old friends in South Philly? Hard drugs as a teenager? Blood from dialysis patients when he drove paratransit vehicles in the 1990s?”

Hepatitis C outbreaks elsewhere similar to NH's
“In medicine, it’s known as a “never” event – something that's never supposed to occur in a health care facility.”

Victim Of Hepatitis C Outbreak Demands Changes At Exeter Hospital
BOSTON (CBS) – “A woman, who went to Exeter Hospital to get well, is instead now infected with hepatitis C. She now wonders whether she’ll live long enough to meet her grandchildren.”

Infection Files: Tackling the silent epidemic of hepatitis C
“With his long-sleeved, starched shirt, pressed jeans, and neatly-groomed fringe of hair, the 63-year-old vet seemed eager to make a good impression.”

Doctors in Europe and the US disagree over the pace of liver fibrosis in men co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C
“Doctors in Europe and the US have conflicting opinions about the pace of liver fibrosis in HIV–positive men with hepatitis C infection. In a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, European investigators showed that the pace of liver fibrosis slowed after the acute phase of infection. However, doctors from the US have published contrasting findings, showing that fibrosis continued to worsen with longer duration of co-infection.”

Rapid testing a breakthrough in fight against hepatitis C
“The sun was setting on Durant Avenue in Berkeley while six people sat in a waiting room. Offered a bittersweet opportunity–a free test for exposure to the hepatitis C virus–people trickled in throughout the day, most of them between the ages of 45 and 67.”

Week Ending June 10, 2012

Kadmon Launches 600 mg/day Ribasphere(R) RibaPak(R) to Provide Added Dosing Control for Triple Therapy Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C
“Kadmon Pharmaceuticals, LLC, the commercial division of Kadmon Corporation, LLC, today announced that it has launched a new 600 mg/day dose pack of Ribasphere(R) RibaPak(R) (ribavirin, USP), Kadmon's proprietary ribavirin regimen, and the only ribavirin available in a daily, two–pill compliance package for enhanced therapy adherence.”

Australia: "Treat Drug Users" to Cut Hep C Rates
“The number of Australian injecting drug users with hepatitis C virus could be reduced by half if IDUs were included in treatment programs, according to health experts. Researchers from the Melbourne-based Burnet Institute also contend that reducing HCV among IDUs could likewise decrease infection within the general population.”

Liver disease cases set to increase due to high rates of hepatitis infection
“The number of people who received unhealthy liver panel test results increased significantly over the course of the last decade. Many experts blamed this on rising obesity rates, but new evidence suggests that this is not the only threat to the nation's liver health.”

Opinion: N.J. syringe access program would save lives, money
“Tomorrow, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee will vote on legislation that would make New Jersey’s pilot syringe access programs permanent and appropriate $95,000 to fund them. More than five years ago, the Legislature approved the Blood-Borne Disease Harm Reduction Act, which allowed for establishing pilot syringe access programs in New Jersey.”

Time to get hep C out of the closet
“In many ways, living with hepatitis C is similar to living with HIV -- both are viruses that begin with a dormant stage, but then they attack the human body and eventually kill you unless they are treated. Treatments for hep C and HIV are quite similar, too. Both are highly invasive, but there is a 55 to 70 per cent success rate in ridding the body of the hep C virus entirely, while there is no "cure" for HIV. In other words, you live with the HIV virus and keep it under control with a drug, hoping it won't eventually become full–blown AIDS (and now there are even plenty of people living with AIDS because of a "prescription drug cocktail" which prevents the body's immune system from failing).”

Hepatitis C Victim's Wife: No Apology, Few Answers from Exeter Hospital
“The wife of one of 14 people infected with hepatitis C during an outbreak at Exeter Hospital said her family has not received an apology from the hospital – or a plan to fight the potentially deadly disease.”

Week Ending June 3, 2012

‘Treat drug users’ to cut Hep C rates
Researchers from Melbourne’s Burnet Institute said reducing the prevalence of the disease among drug users could also lead to a drop in infections across the wider population.

The broad implementation of such therapeutic regimens has the potential to produce one of the major turnarounds in disease burden seen in public health and clinical medicine,’ Prof Dore said.

MedEx Associates LLC Offering Free Hepatitis C Screenings to Promote Awareness to the Public
As part of the CDC and the US Department of Health & Human Services’ Hepatitis awareness campaigns, MedEx Associates LLC is offering free Hepatitis screenings and confidential appointments.

MedEx Associates LLC, a healthcare company based in Augusta, GA, focuses on providing patients with highly specialized staff and continuity of care in an out patient setting. As part of their patient centered focus, the company took part in National Hepatitis Testing Day. At health fairs on May 19 and May 31, the company offered free confidential Hepatitis C screenings. MedEx Associates LLC will also make this opportunity available at the Augusta Pride event on June 23 and at a local health fair on June 24.

Bristol urges combo hepatitis C study with Gilead
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co renewed calls for biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc to test one of its hepatitis C drugs in late-stage trials alongside Bristol's own promising medicine, following impressive results from a mid-stage trial that combined the experimental products.

Instead of working with Bristol-Myers, Gilead is forging ahead with a study of 7977 in combination with its own experimental NS5A inhibitor. In the meantime, Bristol-Myers is testing daclatasvir with a drug similar to 7977 that it acquired with its $2.5 billion purchase of Inhibitex, as well as with other experimental drugs in its development pipeline.

FDA warns Vertex over misleading promotion of Incivek
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a letter to Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: VRTX) saying the company published a misleading “branded story” promoting its drug for hepatitis C, Incivek.

The FDA found that while these statements might reflect this patient’s experience, it is misleading because it implies that all such patients will successfully achieve a Sustained Virologic Response (SVR).

Curative Hep C Treatment Benefits Non-Liver Health and Survival in HIV
For people living with both HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV), not only does curative hepatitis C treatment reduce the risk of liver–related disease and death, but it also helps limit HIV disease progression and deaths not related to liver disease

“Our results suggest that eradication of HCV in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients is associated not only with a reduction in liver-related complications and mortality, but also with a reduction in HIV progression and mortality not related to liver disease,” Berenguer and his colleagues conclude. “These findings support an increasingly strong rationale for earlier evaluation of new direct–acting antivirals against HCV in coinfected patients, a subgroup with a hugely unmet need for treatment.”

Week Ending May 21, 2012

CDC announces first ever national hepatitis testing day and proposes that all baby boomers be tested once for hepatitis C
CDC believes this approach will address the largely preventable consequences of this disease, especially in light of newly available therapies that can cure up to 75 percent of infections.

“Identifying these hidden infections early will allow more baby boomers to receive care and treatment, before they develop life-threatening liver disease,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and Tuberculosis Prevention.

Australia can beat virus-related cancers if we only show the will
Australia has had a pioneering role in the discoveries that underpin our understanding that some cancers can be caused by infectious agents. But we still face many problems that could be solved if we only had the will.

Key challenges remain for Australia to reduce the cancers associated with both hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections. It’s been estimated that about one–third of people in Australia with chronic hepatitis B remain undiagnosed and unaware that they’re infected. Added to this figure is the fact that less than 2% of the people who know they have the infection actually access hepatitis B specialist services.

Letter: Preventing viral hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is a silent epidemic in the U.S. More than four million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis B or C.

Every year, approximately 15,000 Americans die from liver cancer or chronic liver disease associated with viral hepatitis. One in 3 people have been exposed to Hepatitis B or C or both. Chronic hepatitis B or C rarely causes obvious symptoms in early stages, but globally kills more than one million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Low Rates of Hepatitis Screening and Vaccination of HIV-Infected MSM in HIV Clinics
The authors of the current study set out to assess adherence to HIV management guidelines that recommend hepatitis A, B, and C testing for HIV-positive patients, and vaccination against hepatitis A and B for those susceptible.

“Awareness of hepatitis susceptibility and hepatitis co–infection status in HIV–infected patients is essential for optimal clinical management,” the researchers concluded. “Despite recommendations for hepatitis screening and vaccination of HIV–infected MSM, rates were suboptimal at all clinic sites. These low rates highlight the importance of routine review of adherence to recommended clinical services. Such reviews can prompt the development and implementation of simple and sustainable interventions to improve the quality of care.”

Hepatitis C testing rate low and knowledge of the infection poor in the US 'baby boomer' generation
Only a quarter of US individuals in the generation most likely to have hepatitis C have ever been tested for the infection, results of a survey conducted by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) show.

“The survey was developed to determine how knowledgeable baby boomers across the US are about hepatitis C, to reveal where the lack of understanding for hepatitis C lies among this at risk population and identify where more education and action are needed,” says the factsheet.

Week Ending May 13, 2012

Five things you should know about hepatitis C
“Hepatitis C is a silent epidemic in America. Millions of Americans have chronic hepatitis C, which is caused through infection with the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer. As many as 75 percent of people who are living with hepatitis C don't know they are infected.”

Group considers recommending universal hepatitis C testing
“Rates of hepatitis C have increased dramatically in the past few years, which has left public health agencies scrambling for a solution. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently considering a robust response to the situation.”

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Creates Comprehensive Hepatitis C Center
New Center Tailored to Treat Rising Population for “Silent Killer”

“Thomas Jefferson University Hospital recently opened its new Jefferson Hepatitis C Center, one of only a few comprehensive, multidisciplinary centers dedicated to the study of hepatitis C virus and hepatic disease in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware tri-state area.”

Can Getting Sick Give You Cancer? New Research Says Sometimes, Yes
“The prestigious journal The Lancet came out with a study today that merits a double-take. After reviewing the data for 27 different cancers in 184 countries, the researchers concluded that two million cases of cancer a year — or one in in six cases — are caused by viruses, bacterial infections, or parasites. Which means, according to the researchers, that one sixth of all cancers are preventable.”

Promising findings for therapeutic hepatitis C vaccine TG4040
“An investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapeutic vaccine significantly improved the likelihood of sustained response to interferon–based therapy, according to a proof-of-concept study reported at the 47th International Liver Congress (EASL 2012) last month in Barcelona.”

Week Ending May 6, 2012

Fed Urges Baby Boomers To Get Hepatitis C Test
“Federal officials this week issued a statement in which they urged baby boomers to get tested for hepatitis C, an infection they say has become a ‘silent epidemic’ among boomers.”

‘Hepatitis C drug can cause depression’
Researchers tackle complexities of diagnosing, managing depression before, after initiating treatment with interferon.

MAYWOOD, Ill. – “There is a high rate of depression among patients with hepatitis C, but a standard treatment for the disease includes a drug, interferon, that can cause depression.”

Co-infection with hepatitis C increases mortality risk by 50% for patients with AIDS
“Co–infection with hepatitis C increases the risk of death for patients with AIDS by 50%, according to the results of a large study published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. A fifth of these deaths were attributable to liver–related causes, five times the rate seen in people with AIDS who were not co-infected.”

Second Annual Zebrowski Walk On May 12
Walk named after former state assemblyman supports Hepatitis C research.

“The second annual Ken Zebrowski Memorial Walk takes place on Saturday, May 12 at Congers Lake Memorial Park. Former New York State Assemblyman Kenneth Peter Zebrowski passed away in March 2007 at the age of 61 from the Hepatitis C Virus. The longtime public servant contracted the disease in 1973 from blood transfusions received during an 18–hour operation.”

Health Department offering free Hepatitis C testing in Kentucky
NORTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX19) – “Since 2010, the number of Hepatitis C cases have increased by more than 80% in northern Kentucky. So, the Northern Kentucky Health Department and Kentucky Department for Public Health will offer free blood tests for Hepatitis C at four county Health Centers. Testing will be available by appointment through June 8.”

Prison puzzle: Treating hepatitis C
“Call it a quandary of epidemic proportions. Imagine a population group in which 30% of its members have a specific disease. It can be treated, but at a relatively stiff price that strains a limited budget. Along comes a new treatment that’s much more effective but at threefold cost. Failure to effectively treat a patient will likely result in a long-term health condition that will constitute an even greater drain on resources. Complicating the task is that the political mandarins who ultimately fix the budget appear to be ideologically opposed to harm reduction programs that could reduce the incidence rate and treatment costs that appear to be rising exponentially.”

Facebook to Promote Organ Donation; May Benefit People With Hep C or HIV
“Social networking giant Facebook has announced a plan to encourage its 161 million U.S. members to advertise their organ donor status in their profiles, according to The New York Times. The move may avert thousands of deaths in the United States among people waiting for transplants, which ultimately includes many people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and/or HIV infection.”

Week Ending April 29, 2012

Boehringer Ingelheim Hepatitis C Drugs Cured 82% in Trial
“Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH said its experimental hepatitis C oral treatment cleared the virus in as many as 82 percent of patients in a study.”

FDA: Don't use certain hepatitis and HIV drugs together
“The Food and Drug Administration warned Friday that doctors should not prescribe and patients should not use the hepatitis C drug Victrelis (boceprevir) and the anti–HIV drug ritonavir at the same time because such use reduces the effectiveness of both drugs. Patients already using the two drugs simultaneously should not stop taking them without consulting their doctor, however, the agency cautioned.”

EASL: International Liver Congress Focuses on Hepatitis C Treatment, Metabolic Liver Disease
“The 47th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL 2012) brought together more than 9000 participants this week in Barcelona to discuss the latest research in the field of liver disease.”

Interview Local Nurses Dedicated to the Hepatitis C Community: National Nursing Week – May 7 to 13, 2012
TORONTO – “During National Nursing Week, Canadians will recognize and celebrate the important contributions nurses make daily to patient care in Canada. The role nurses play in the prevention and management of chronic hepatitis C, a potentially life-threatening virus, provides a powerful example of their impact as supporter, educator and counsellor.”

Waterville graduate finds success in little things
WATERVILLE – “The focus of Erica Machlin Cox’s research isn’t just narrow. It’s microscopic. Cox is a 2001 Waterville Senior High School graduate, and was a three-year veteran of its Science Olympiad team. Today, the 28–year–old scientist studies interactions between the hepatitis–C virus and liver cells as a graduate student at Stanford University in California.”

Canadian science: Hepatitis C breakthrough
“After many years of research a group of Canadian scientists have announced a possible breakthrough for the development of a vaccine for hepatitis C.”

Chronic hepatitis B infection associated with twice the risk of liver-related death compared to hepatitis C
“The risk of death due to liver disease is twice as high for patients with chronic hepatitis B infection compared to individuals with chronic hepatitis C, US researchers report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.”

Province of Quebec funds Vertex hepatitis C drug
“A hepatitis C drug made by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. will be funded by the province of Quebec, the company announced Tuesday.The Cambridge–based company said Quebec will now pay for the Incivek tablets for those of its residents living with chronic hepatitis C. The move comes after the evaluation of Incivek by the Institut National D’Excellence en Santé et en Services Sociaux (INESSS) and after the province of Saskatchewan announced it would fund Incivek.”

Week Ending April 23, 2012

Abbott Presents Positive Results from Interferon-Free Phase 2 "Co-Pilot" Study for the Treatment of Hepatitis C
More than 90 Percent of Patients New to HCV Treatment Achieved Sustained Viral Response through 12 Weeks

In a three-arm study known as "Co-Pilot," different doses of ABT–450/r, plus ABT–333 and ribavirin administered for 12 weeks showed sustained virological response at 12–weeks post treatment (SVR12) in 95 percent and 93 percent of treatment-naive genotype 1 (GT1) patients, with no post–treatment relapses. In these patients, response was independent of HCV subtype, host IL28B genotype or dose of ABT–450/r.

Gilead’s Hepatitis C Drug Poised To Reach The Market As One Of The First ‘All Oral’ Combinations
The data released at EASL was the first look at its potential, in combination with ribarivin, in treatment naïve genotype 1 patients – the largest group and therefore biggest commercial opportunity. Of the 25 patients who completed 12 weeks of treatment with GS–7977 plus ribavirin, 88% has undetectable virus four weeks after completion of treatment. Three patients experienced viral relapse after treatment was completed.

Sharing the gift of life: Local couple in need of organ transplant raises organ donor awareness
With more than 113,000 people waiting on the organ transplant list — and each number represents a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister or a child, someone who is important to someone else — the Cleveland couple is hoping for more people to find it in their hearts to donate the gift of life, especially during April, which is National Donate Life Month.

Achillion Announces 94 – 100% Complete EVR From Phase 2 Trial With ACH–1625 Based Regimen in Hepatitis C
Posters Detailing ACH–1625, ACH–3102 and ACH–2928 Presented at the International Liver Congress(TM) 2012

We are extremely pleased with the safety and efficacy that ACH–1625 has achieved in this Phase 2 clinical trial as well as the impressive resistance profile this compound has shown to date. As we finalize this Phase 2 trial and report on SVR later this year, we are now focused on initiating our all–oral program for the treatment of HCV. With the recent submission of an IND for ACH–3102, our second–generation NS5A inhibitor, we look forward to initiating its Phase 1 program this quarter and rapidly advancing toward a therapeutic, interferon-free combination trial evaluating ACH–1625 plus ACH–3102 during the fourth quarter of this year.”

Interferon–lambda as effective as alpha but with much better safety profile in hepatitis C
Data from the EMERGE phase IIb study presented to the 47th International Liver Congress (EASL 2012) in Barcelona demonstrated that pegylated interferon–lambda was as effective as pegylated interferon alpha. The major advantage of the new compound was that it caused significantly fewer side–effects. Interferon lambda or alpha was taken in combination with ribavirin. Another key finding of the study was that there were fewer dose reductions of both interferon and ribavirin with the lambda–based combination.

Telaprevir and boceprevir show high rate of serious side–effects in hepatitis C patients with urgent need of treatment
The cohort study sought to evaluate outcomes in people who received the drugs, and in particular to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of the new drugs in people with hepatitis C mono–infection and compensated cirrhosis with a previous history of non-response or relapse after standard treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin.

Week Ending April 15, 2012


High Cost of Telaprevir Overshadows Clinical Benefits in Patient Subset
Results Based on Cost-Effectiveness Model

San Francisco – “For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection and the favorable CC interleukin–28B (IL28B) polymorphism, the clinical benefits of telaprevir do not outweigh the costs, according to the results of a cost-effectiveness model reported at The Liver Meeting 2011 (abstract 118).”

Updated AASLD HCV Guideline Aims To Simplify Use of DAAs
More Data Needed To Fill Gaps in Understanding

“The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) recently published an updated practice guideline on the treatment of chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 (Ghany MG et al. Hepatology 2011;54:1433-1444).”

Statin Labels Updated
HCV Protease Inhibitor Contraindication Highlighted

“The product labels on statins are changing to reflect new information deemed important by the FDA. The FDA announced the changes in late February as part of an overhaul of statin prescribing information.”

Project Walks Primary Care Providers Through Toughest Cases
“On 5 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving, Dr. Alan Caroe, a general practitioner in Las Cruces, N.M., had to decide whether to prescribe an opiate medication to "a very smooth individual from out of town who had a story that was just barely plausible."”

Inked or infected: Tattooing comes with risks
“There was a time not long ago when those sporting multiple tattoos were thought to be sociopaths. I’m talking about bikers, gang bangers, and prisoners — you know the type — freaks, like Lisbeth, in “The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo”.”

Liver cancer can be caused by excess growth hormone
“In a major discovery, Austrian scientists have found that the overproduction of a growth hormone can cause liver cancer.”

Week Ending April 8, 2012

Hepatitis C poses a silent crisis
ALBANY – “A dozen women from health clinics, local hospitals and government agencies met in the basement of the Albany County Health Department on Thursday morning to talk about a crisis they say is spreading silently through the region: hepatitis C.”

Hepatitis C screening in jails could help combat epidemic
“A new Emory University study says screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in jail detainees could help combat the HCV epidemic in the United States.”

Abbott Hepatitis C Combo Impressive in Small Study
“A combination of oral hepatitis C drugs being developed by Abbott Laboratories realized cure rates exceeding 90 percent in treatment–naïve patients, according to a small, mid–stage study. The results, released Wednesday, will be presented later this month in Barcelona at a meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver.”

Hepatitis C infections now twice as likely in HIV+ gay men as in injecting drug users, Swiss study finds
“The annual incidence of hepatitis C infection in gay men with HIV is now nearly twice that seen in HIV–positive injecting drug users, according to a Swiss study.”

Hepatitis C assay important in patient diagnosis
Roche has extended its serology panel to include a new generation Elecsys anti-HCV II

“With an estimated 216,000 individuals chronically infected in the UK (England 161,000, Northern Ireland 4,000, Scotland 39,000, Wales 12,000), hepatitis C (HCV) remains a major public health problem; and HCV-related end stage liver disease and mortality continue to increase.”

Tremelimumab Shows Efficacy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Chronic Hepatitis C
CHICAGO – “Treatment with tremelimumab stabilized patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma due to chronic hepatitis C infection for more than 12 months, according to data from a phase II clinical trial presented by lead researcher Ignacio Melero, MD, PhD, consultant in the department of oncology and professor and senior investigator in El Centro de Investigacion Medica Aplicada at the Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain (AACR abstract 4387).”

Lessons Shared from Transmission of Hepatitis C Infection to Patients
An extensive investigation into hepatitis C infections in three transplant patients led investigators to uncover the route of transmission.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – “Findings of an extensive investigation at Mayo Clinic, published in the April 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, serve as a warning to other health care institutions that drug diversion by a health care worker can spread hepatitis C, a potentially fatal viral infection, to patients.”

Revised U.S. Guidelines Make Key HIV and Hep C Treatment Recs
“Important preliminary recommendations involving the use of hepatitis C protease inhibitors among people living with HIV are provided by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services panelists in the March 27 update to the Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV–1–Infected Adults and Adolescents.”

Week Ending April 1, 2012

Birth Cohort Screening May Help Find Hepatitis C Cases
“Screening US baby boomers for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a cost–effective way to prevent tens of thousands of deaths in a birth cohort with the highest prevalence of HCV infection in the country, recent research suggests.”

Campaign to Engage 100,000 Healthcare Personnel Behind Needlestick Injury Prevention
“Every day, 5.6 million healthcare personnel in the U.S. are put at risk of occupational exposure to HIV, hepatitis C and other life-threatening blood-borne diseases via transmission modes such as needlestick injuries.”

St. Pete woman shares her pro 'Obamacare' story at rally in Washington, DC
ST. PETERSBURG – “Fifty-seven-year-old Marlys Cox knows what it feels like to live without health insurance.”

Nurse lobbying for Hep C treatment changes
Canada – “A Nanaimo nurse is part of a group lobbying for expanded PharmaCare coverage for patients suffering from hepatitis C.”

Minnesota's million-dollar inmates
“James Vogel knew he had it coming in 2009 when an Aitkin County judge sentenced him to five years in prison for his sixth drunken-driving conviction. What gave him pause was the mysterious lump in his gut -- a bulge the size of a football — and who was going to take care of it.”

Hepatitis C Information and Support Group with Book Signing
“Lucinda Porter, RN, author of Free from Hepatitis C, will be at the Hepatitis C Information and Support Group in Redwood City, CA on Thurs, April 19. Ms. Porter is a nurse who has hepatitis C a recognized hepatitis C authority and patient advocate. She will be talking about hepatitis C, following with a book signing.”

20 Million-Plus Individuals Infected with Hepatitis E in Asia and Africa
“New research funded by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 20.1 million individuals were infected with hepatitis E virus (HEV) genotypes 1 and 2 across nine world regions in 2005. According to findings available in the April issue of Hepatology, there were 3.4 million symptomatic cases, 70,000 deaths, and 3,000 stillbirths from HEV that year in countries throughout Asia and Africa.”

New hep C drug covered in B.C
“Hundreds of hepatitis patients in British Columbia will now have Pharmacare coverage for a new drug that was approved by Health Canada nine months ago.”

Antiretroviral rollout provides a model for efforts to expand hepatitis C treatment and care in resource-limited settings
“The rollout of antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings provides a model for efforts to increase access to hepatitis C treatment and care in similar settings, investigators argue in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases.”

Clearing or Curing Acute HCV Does Not Protect Against Reinfection
“Getting rid of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection once—whether it is cleared by strong immune response during the initial months of infection or cured with treatment — does not protect HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) against reinfection with the virus, according to new data presented on Tuesday, March 6, at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.”

Week Ending March 25, 2012

Discovery Provides Blueprint for New Drugs That Can Inhibit Hepatitis C Virus
ScienceDaily (Mar. 19, 2012) – “Chemists at the University of California, San Diego have produced the first high resolution structure of a molecule that when attached to the genetic material of the hepatitis C virus prevents it from reproducing.”

NICE finds INCIVO®? (telaprevir) cost effective and recommends its use within the NHS
“Janssen is pleased to announce that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today issued its final appraisal determination (FAD) which recommends the use of INCIVO® (telaprevir)* in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin as an option for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C (hep C) in adults with compensated liver disease who are previously untreated or in whom previous treatment failed1.”

‘25% rise’ in liver disease deaths
“Deaths from liver disease in England have jumped 25% with alcohol the major cause, men the biggest victims and fatalities more prevalent in the North, new statistics have revealed.”

Battle for Restored Needle Exchange Funding Heats Up
“After 20 years of walking in the political wilderness, public health and harm reduction advocates for federal funding for needle exchange programs made it to the Promised Land in December 2009, when the Democratic-controlled Congress overturned the longstanding funding ban. But just two years later, led by the Republican–controlled House and with the acquiescence of the Democratic–controlled Senate, Congress reinstated the ban in its 2012 federal omnibus spending bill.”

Healthy Living: Hepatitis C
“"I didn't discover I was Hep C positive until I was in liver failure and I was hospitalized," said Shari Foster, a patient.”

HCV Testing, Diagnosis Being Overlooked in People With HIV
“Although hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a common and serious coinfection among people living with HIV, it often goes undiagnosed, even in a major U.S. city with multiple HIV care providers and a clinic dedicated to caring for people with both infections. This is the finding of a Miami cohort study reported Tuesday, March 6, at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.”

Health officials: Test Sheridan hospital patients who used airways
CHEYENNE – “The Wyoming Department of Health recommends Sheridan Memorial Hospital offer testing for three diseases to patients who used inadequately sterilized airways during surgery between May and November.”

Week Ending March 18, 2012

Hepatitis C Infection Increasing Among Adolescents, Young Adults
ATLANTA – “The incidence of hepatitis C infection is increasing among adolescents and young adults in Pennsylvania, just as it has in other areas in the United States, according to surveillance data for 2003 through 2010.”

Hundreds Of New Yorkers Attend Annual Hepatitis C Legislative Awareness Day To Request State Plan For 2013
“Status C Unknown, a non-profit 501(c)3 today led hundreds of patients and advocates from around New York State to Albany for the sixth annual Hepatitis C Legislative Awareness Day, urging lawmakers to adopt a plan for 2013 to combat the increasing incidence of hepatitis C infection in New York State with education, testing and treatment programs. The request comes just weeks after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reported that more Americans died from hepatitis C than from HIV in 2010 and that 1 in 33 baby boomers are likely infected.”

Okairos launches pioneering mid-stage study of promising hep C vaccine
“As far as most biotech investors are concerned, the most exciting work being done in the hepatitis C field involves next-gen treatments that can potentially quell the virus without the need for the troublesome interferon in the combo. As one of the hottest Holy Grails in R&D, the prospect of grabbing a big chunk of the multibillion-dollar market has inspired big buyouts and frenzied speculation about winners and losers.”

City hitting hepatitis C
“The Bloomberg administration is launching a campaign to prevent the spread of the deadly hepatitis C virus, The Post has learned.”

Treating HIV During Pregnancy Also Lowers Risk of Transmitting Hep C to Baby
“For women living with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection, using HIV antiretroviral (ARV) therapy during pregnancy may lower the risk of transmitting both viruses to their infants, according to encouraging new data presented Tuesday, March 6, at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle.”

ARV Liver Toxicity in HIV/Hep C Coinfected Patients on the Decline
“Rates of antiretroviral (ARV)-associated liver toxicity among people living with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) have decreased since 1997, but it is still more common among people infected with both viruses compared with people infected only with HIV. This is the finding of an analysis reported Wednesday, March 7, at the 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.”

Model: Broad HCV Testing Cost-Effective
“Broader screening for hepatitis C would be cost–effective but would not by itself markedly reduce morbidity and mortality from the virus, researchers reported.”

CEVHAP hosts agenda-setting meet on hepatitis policy
“While, it has taken far too long to get viral hepatitis the attention it deserves, global experts cautiously hope that with successful partnerships and learning from the HIV/AIDS experience, the Asia-Pacific region can be an example to the rest of the world in controlling viral hepatitis, reports Viveka Roychowdhury.”

BCRX challenges Biota patent, claims its hepatitis C compound was first
“The experimental hepatitis C treatment that BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX) wants to take into clinical trials this year has run into an unexpected hitch: a patent for the compound was awarded to another pharmaceutical company.”

ANN ARBOR: Greenview Hepatitis C Fund to hold chocolate and wine tasting April 25 at Arbor Brewing Co.
“The Greenview Hepatitis C Fund is hosting a chocolate and wine tasting event that is open to the public from 5 to 7 p.m. April 25 at the Arbor Brewing Co., 114 E. Washington St., in downtown Ann Arbor.”

Florida: Hepatitis C Targets Baby Boomers
“Around 216,300 Floridians have chronic hepatitis C, an illness that has eclipsed HIV as a killer of U.S. adults annually. Baby boomers are most at risk for the infection through past injecting drug use or tainted blood transfusions. Prior to 1992, donated blood was not tested for the virus.”

Week Ending March 11, 2012

U-M to research into treatment for hepatitis C
“The Greenview Foundation has announced a gift of $57,000 to the University of Michigan Health System to support research on a treatment for hepatitis C.”

Familiarity With Drugs Helps a Group Speak for Users
“With a couple of old desks, a beat–up couch and an off–white white board, the office space at 149 Turk Street, in this city’s seedy Tenderloin district, is hardly remarkable. A collection of worn detective novels sits on the bookshelf, a couple of American flags hang limply from the wall and a coffee machine constantly percolates in the back kitchen.”

Larimer County agencies consider syringe access program
“The Northern Colorado AIDS Project has proposed starting a syringe exchange program in Larimer County aimed at slowing the spread of diseases linked to intravenous drug use.”

Top 10 tests every man needs
“Three conditions threaten men’s health: heart disease, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer.”

CHC Offers New HIV/Hep C Program
MIDDLETOWN, CT – “Community Health Center Inc. (CHC) has launched a state–of–the–art, evidence–based program known as CHC Project ECHO Hepatitis C/HIV. CHC is one of the first community health centers in the nation to replicate the ECHO model. Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a model developed by the University of New Mexico initially to extend hepatitis C care and management to the rural clinics.”

NICE Recommends Unrestricted Access To 'Victrelis'® (boceprevir) When Used Within The Licensed Indication
“In the UK, about 216,000 people suffer from a chronic infection of hepatitis C. 5. The UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has just issued a Final Appraisal Determination (FAD) for recommending 'Victrelis'® (boceprevir), in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin ('dual therapy'), as a treatment option for adults with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C (CHC), with compensated liver disease who had no previous treatment, or for those who were unreceptive to other treatments.”

Hepatitis C test helps curb Egypt epidemic
CAIRO: “About 10 million hepatitis C (HCV) patients live in Egypt, giving Egypt the distinction of having the highest prevalence of hepatitis C in the world.”

Incivek Improves Hepatitis C Cure Rates In People With HIV
“Interim results from an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial show that 74 percent of HIV–positive participants taking the hepatitis C drug Incivek, in combination with peginterferon–alfa and ribavirin, had undetectable levels of hepatitis C virus in their blood 12 weeks after completing treatment, compared to 45 percent of participants taking peginterferon–alfa and ribavirin alone.”

Roche improves cutting-edge portfolio for early hepatitis C diagnosis and targeted treatment
“Roche now offers a fully updated state-of-the-art portfolio for the early detection of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and personalized disease management. The improved diagnostics and patient monitoring solution provides an one-stop shop for HCV testing with unprecedented performance in early infection and ease of use, allowing clinicians to work efficiently and to suit individual patient treatment.1”

Prison dispatch: Hepatitis epidemic could become costly
“A fellow inmate recently informed me he will be undergoing interferon anti–viral treatment. He’s been diagnosed with stage 3 Hepatitis C. This admission precipitated a discussion about what treatments were available here, and to prisoners in general, how long they lasted and how difficult it was to get them. I, for one, am keenly interested in this subject because, like many people of my generation, I have also been diagnosed with Hepatitis C.”

Week Ending March 4, 2012

Experts stress Hepatitis C testing, awareness
“Scott Luke, of Bettendorf, doesn’t know how long he had hepatitis C before he was formally diagnosed with the disease about 10 years ago.”

Jerry Davich: Dear boomers, are you positive that you’re negative?
“Scott Arellano’s past came back to haunt him. If you’re a baby boomer with even a somewhat risky past, you may become haunted, too, by your youthful indiscretions decades ago.”

Hepatitis C in baby boomers remains silent epidemic
All of those people should routinely get hep C testing at least once,’ Toronto liver clinic head

“A rise in deaths among baby boomers unknowingly infected with hepatitis C in the U.S. is driving a Canadian emphasis on detecting and treating the liver disease.”

Hepatitis C subtype–1b and carriage of IL28B gene associated with improved treatment responses in HIV–co–infected patients
“Hepatitis C treatment responses in patients co–infected with HIV are better in patients infected with hepatitis C subtype–1b than 1a, according to Spanish research published in the online edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The research also showed that the presence of the IL28B gene influenced treatment responses.”

Hypoferremia Predicts Treatment Response to IFN-α
(HealthDay News) – “For patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepcidin, a regulator of iron homeostasis, is induced following a single dose of pegylated interferon-α (PEG-IFNα), and may be a surrogate marker of immediate efficacy of IFN-α, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Hepatology.”

Ultrasound technology proves accurate in diagnosing cirrhosis from recurrent hepatitis C
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic HCV affects up to 170 million people worldwide and could lead to more severe liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Experts estimate that on average 6,000 liver transplants are performed in the U.S. each year. Medical evidence shows that following liver transplantation recipients who are HCV RNA–positive at the time of transplantation are at risk of reinfection with HCV. Moreover, studies have determined that fibrotic tissue can develop more quickly in the transplanted liver resulting in rapid progression of cirrhosis and graft failure.”

First clinical assessment of how interferon fights infections in people
“A drug once taken by people with HIV/AIDS but long ago shelved after newer, modern antiretroviral therapies became available has now shed light on how the human body uses its natural immunity to fight the virus–work that could help uncover new targets for drugs.”

Week Ending February 26, 2012

Boomers Urged To Get Hep C Tests To Counter Rising Liver Disease Deaths
“The blood–borne liver disease, Hepatitis C can go undetected for decades. Federal health officials say that is a huge part of the reason why two–thirds of the more than three million Americans infected and most at risk are baby boomers.”

Hepatitis C kills more in US than HIV
“Studies show that deaths from hepatitis C (HCV) infection among US adults outnumber AIDS fatalities. And while greedy pharmaceutical giants advertise new drugs that cost a fortune, Oxford dons claim success in developing anti–HCV vaccine.”

Hepatitis C is frequently undiagnosed but often curable
New treatments are coming for liver-damaging virus.

“Hepatitis C virus — not AIDS-causing HIV — is the leading chronic virus infection leading to death in the United States, and its victims most often are baby boomers. More than half who are infected do not know it.”

A wedding wish
“During Manny Sosa’s unspeakable childhood, he was abused so badly he required a blood transfusion that was later found to be tainted with a deadly virus.”

Should we be providing needles for drug users? Controversy follows program at Bethany Place
“Mickey Weiss visits Bethany Place to keep himself and his drug-using friends alive.”

Week Ending February 19, 2012

Alberta researchers inch closer to hepatitis C vaccine
“A University of Alberta research team is one step closer to discovering a vaccine for hepatitis C that appears to work against all the major strains of the disease.”

Gilead suffers setback on relapse rate for HCV pill
“Shares in Gilead Sciences have fallen 14% following disappointing mid–stage data on an oral hepatitis C drug it acquired through its $11 billion buy of Pharmasset.”

Researchers create new model to predict risk of hepatitis C cancer
TAIPEI – “A Taiwan–led research team has successfully devised a new prediction model to calculate the likelihood of hepatitis C patients developing liver cancer, the team leader said yesterday.”

Bristol–Myers Squibb awards 3 new grants to enhance HBV and HCV prevention, diagnosis and care
“The Bristol–Myers Squibb Foundation has awarded three new grants to improve prevention, diagnosis and care of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) in China and India as part of its Delivering Hope™: Awareness, Prevention and Care umbrella program which is committed to reducing hepatitis–related health disparities in Asia. China and India together have an estimated 123 million people chronically infected with HBV and 59 million people chronically infected with HCV, accounting for almost 50 percent of all HBV and HCV infections worldwide.”

Jon Secada Raises Hepatitis C Awareness Among Latinos
“Cuban-American singer-songwriter Jon Secada is raising awareness about Hepatitis C.”

BioCryst hep C drug shows promise, shares jump
(Reuters) – “BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental hepatitis C drug showed promise in preclinical studies, sending its shares up as much as 16 percent to their highest in more than seven months.”

Week Ending February 12, 2012

Merck Warns of Victrelis and HIV Protease Inhibitor Interactions
“The hepatitis C protease inhibitor Victrelis (boceprevir) has some significant drug-drug interactions with common Norvir (ritonavir)–boosted protease inhibitor (PI) combinations, according to preliminary data from a clinical trial and a warning issued to health care providers by Merck on February 6.”

$1M donation for AIDS research highlights Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards
Annette Bloch gift allows Desert AIDS Project to head in ambitious new direction

“They weren't supposed to live this long. Most of the time, Larry Gibson and Dennis Golay marvel at their good fortune.”

Making History: Eliminating Viral Hepatitis Disparities in the African American Community
“During February’s observance of African American History Month, please join us in working to end the unfortunate history of viral hepatitis’ disproportionate impact on the African American community. This Administration is working hard to reduce and eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity.”

Hepatitis C breakthrough cure going to waste because 500,000 Britons unaware they have virus
“Advances in treatment for hepatitis C mean more than 70 per cent of carriers can be cured if it is diagnosed early. Yet most of the half a million people with the condition are unaware they are infected, an expert said today.”

Amateur tattoos carry hepatitis C risk: CDC
(Reuters Health) – “If you're planning on getting a tattoo, make sure it's from a professional and not your friend, says a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

New Study of Interferon–free HCV Therapy Hailed as 'Watershed Moment' in Hep C Research
SVR Achieved With Two Direct–acting Antivirals in Absence of Interferon in Small Study

“A combination therapy including two investigational direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs)–asunaprevir and daclatasvir–suppressed hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection in a majority of patients who had previously not responded to treatment, according to results from a small Phase II study published in the Jan. 19 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (Lok AS et al. 2012;366:216-224).”

Week Ending February 5, 2012

FDA removes hold on Idenix hepatitis drug
“The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted partial clinical hold on Idenix Pharmaceuticals' IDX184 and approved to continue the 12-week Phase IIb study evaluating IDX184 in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (PegIFN/RBV).”

Hepatitis Research May Benefit From Stem Cells
“Hepatitis C is a viral disease that leads to inflammation and organ failure. However, researchers are puzzled as to why some individuals are very susceptible to the disease, while others are not.”

Roundwood Doctor Nicola leads Hepatitis C Research
Pioneering Team Of Virologists Based In University Of Birmingham

“Doctor from Roundwood is leading pioneering research into Hepatitis C. Dr. Nicola Fletcher is the head of a team of virologists from the University of Birmingham who found that the endothelial cells in the brain possess the four main protein receptors necessary for the blood-brain barrier to be targeted by HCV.”

Even in sickness, EMT from West Haven strives to help others
WEST HAVEN – “Joseph Tomaso had a tough 2011. A former emergency medical technician who contracted hepatitis C on the job more than a decade ago, has seen his health decline. He lost 110 pounds, has "really bad" cirrhosis of the liver, and was hospitalized 17 times.”

Cell-permeable peptide that inhibits hepatitis C virus identified
“Researchers have now identified a cell-permeable peptide, which impedes a hepatitis C virus protein and blocks viral replication that can cause liver cancer and cirrhosis.”

Awareness, Testing Needed to Curb Hep C Infections Among HIV-Positive Gay Men
“A new report by the National AIDS Trust (NAT), a leading HIV organization in the United Kingdom, concludes that much more needs to be done to address the burgeoning epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among gay men living with HIV.”

Pennsylvania: Hepatitis C Drugs in the Pipeline
“The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will be a site for clinical trials of new hepatitis C drugs currently being studied, said Dr. Kapil Chopra, director of the UPMC Center for Liver Diseases.”

Hepatitis C Virus Studied as Risk Factor in Liver Cancer
“Two Mayo Clinic studies have clarified the importance of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the rising trend of liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).”

Alcohol Treatment Boosts Hep C Cure Rates Among Drinkers
“People who drink—even heavily—can successfully undergo treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) if they’re provided with individualized, multidisciplinary care that also addresses their alcohol use, according to a study published in the February 2012 issue of Journal of Hepatology.”

Week Ending January 29, 2012

Cortland sees spike in Hepatitis C in drug users
Cortland, N.Y. – “Public health officials are investigating a surge of Hepatitis C cases in Cortland County showing up mostly among people under 35 who shoot drugs.”

Hepatitis C warning for HIV-positive men
A new report is calling for raised awareness of the risks posed by hepatitis C to gay men living with HIV.

“The National AIDS Trust said the implications of hepatitis C and HIV co-infection on health can be severe, with liver disease one of the major causes of serious illness and fatality in HIV-positive people.”

VIHA moves cautiously to step up efforts for harm reduction
“South Nanaimo residents reacted angrily in 2007, when public health nurses in vans started showing up in alleys, handing out crack-pipe mouthpieces and other supplies to addicts.”

The sharp side: B.C. hospitals aim to safeguard health professionals from sharp instruments
“Five thousand health professionals, including hundreds of nurses and doctors in operating rooms, are stabbed by sharp medical instruments each year in B.C.”

No vaccine for Hep C
“In Tuesday’s front-page coverage about travel vaccinations there is one serious error that needs correction. The picture accompanying the article shows a nurse holding two vials filled with vaccines. The caption lists one of those vaccines as being for Hep C.”

Week Ending January 22, 2012

New Hepatitis C Support Helpline - 877-HELP-4-HEP (877-435-7443)
“The Support Partnership, a collaboration of nationally recognized hepatitis C organizations, has launched a peer-managed toll-free helpline for people affected by hepatitis C. Experienced counselors provide information, emotional support, referrals and optional follow-up assistance to help callers navigate the complexities of screening, testing, treatment decisions and treatment.”

Hepatitis C treatment with antivirals is effective: study
“A major advance in treating hepatitis C appears to be on the horizon. Researchers reported Wednesday that combining two antiviral medications was effective in stopping the infection in some patients who were not helped by the traditional treatment.”

Community Health Center launches new video conferencing technology
MIDDLETOWN. CT – “Community Health Center unveiled a new tool Friday that will allow it to lend the expertise of CHC HIV specialist to other CHC clinics that do not have such specialists.”

Funding for needle exchange programs drying up
Advocates say the public should consider the cost-effectiveness of the programs, which help to prevent the spread of diseases.

AUGUSTA – “Hypodermic needle exchange programs in Maine, which collected more than a quarter–million syringes in a recent 12-month period, are running into serious funding problems because of the poor economy, say officials who oversee the programs.”

Hepatitis C infection identified as leading risk factor for HCC
“Liver–scarring diseases such as cirrhosis from alcohol consumption continue to present a high risk for the development hepatocellular carcinoma, but hepatitis C infection has been identified as the leading risk factor, according study results published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Hepatitis C Pills Clear Virus Without Injections
“Bristol–Myers Squibb Company today announced the full results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, from a Phase II clinical trial in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 who had not responded to prior therapy with PEG–interferon alfa and ribavirin (‘null responders’1). The study demonstrated that its primary endpoint of the achievement of sustained virologic response 12–weeks post–treatment (SVR12) is possible with a direct–acting antiviral (DAA)–only combination containing daclatasvir and asunaprevir (4/11 patients, including two of two patients infected with HCV genotype 1b). This study was the first study to demonstrate the possibility that hepatitis C can be cured (defined as sustained virologic response 48 weeks post–treatment or SVR48) without the use of interferon. The study also demonstrated that 100 percent (10/10) of these difficult–to–treat patients dosed with quadruple therapy containing daclatasvir and asunaprevir in combination with PEG–Interferon alfa and ribavirin achieved SVR12.”

Week Ending January 16, 2012

Enzyme blueprint may improve HIV, hep C treatment
LONDON: “The structure of a unique enzyme in the human body has been identified in a discovery that could lead to treatment against deadly viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C.”

Infection files: Body art: the good, the bad, and the deadly
“My good friend (I'll call her Dee) is a voiceover actress known for her throaty interpretation of a famous cartoon she-villain.”

FREE HIV and Hepatitis C testing coming to Guerneville
“The Drug Abuse Alternatives Center (DAAC), staffed by experienced and knowledgeable counselors and outreach workers, offers counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C on a drop-in basis, and much more, and this coming January, their Big Blue Van will becoming to Guerneville.”

Idenix Seeks Partner for Hepatitis C Combination Drug, CEO Renaud Says
“Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IDIX), the developer of an experimental hepatitis C drug, is in talks to find a partner to create a combination treatment to fight the virus, Chief Executive Officer Ron Renaud said.”

Cuts slow, but won't stop research
“A proposal by Health Sciences North seeking $5 million to develop vaccines against peptic ulcers and hepatitis C, and to break nicotine addiction, has been scuttled by $66 million in cuts to the Ontario Research Fund.”

Hepatitis C drug set to give Cardiff University financial boost
“A university behind a treatment for hepatitis C could reap "substantial" financial benefits after the drug was acquired by a top US firm. The oral medication INX-189 was first prepared at Cardiff University ’s Welsh School of Pharmacy in 2008.”

Port Charlotte clinic offering free Hepatitis C treatment
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – “The saying goes nothing in life is free but for people in Charlotte County who suffer from Hepatitis C, getting treatment won't cost a dime.”

Week Ending January 9, 2012

Hepatitis C and new treatments
“Dr Omar el Sherif and Dr Orla M Crosbie examine the rates of hepatitis C in Ireland and report on the latest available treatments from the 2011 AASLD Annual Meeting in San Francisco.”

Bristol ups hepatitis C game in $2.5B acquisition
“Looking to angle in an a market that is growing fast, Bristol-Myers will spend $2.5 billion to acquire hepatitis C drug developer Inhibitex Inc., which saw its share price double in one day recently on early stage data of a treatment it is developing.”

Benitec Biopharma hepatitis C therapeutic pre-clinical results released
“Benitec Biopharma has received pre-clinical results on the use of the company’s gene silencing technology to develop a therapeutic for hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection.”

Promising Hepatitis C Vaccine Trial From Oxford University
“A hepatitis C vaccine trial conducted by researchers at world–renowned Oxford University is showing promising results, according to their report in Science Translational Medicine. This is an extremely heartening breakthrough, due to the fact that we have vaccines for hepatitis A and B, but hepatitis C has long eluded the scientific community. The reason for this is a virus constantly changing its appearance, confounding even the best and the brightest — a constantly moving target.”

Mayo Clinic Studies Identify Risk Factors In Rising Trend Of Liver Cancer
“Doctors have known for years that the incidence of deadly liver cancer is on the rise, but what is causing that trend has remained a mystery. Two recent Mayo Clinic studies published in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings offer a clearer picture of the rise of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer, which has tripled in the U.S. in the last three decades and has a 10 to 12 percent five–year survival rate when detected in later stages.”

Achillon receives fast-track designation for hepatitis C drug
FDA grants designation to ACH-1625

“The Food and Drug Administration has granted fast-track designation to a drug currently under development by Achillon Pharmaceuticals for hepatitis C, the company said.”

Hepatitis C Needs Higher Profile, Health Workers Say
“A middle-aged man hesitantly enters the CORNER Project syringe exchange program’s office on 176th Street and Wadsworth Avenue in Washington Heights.”

Week Ending January 1, 2012

NovaTarg preps for 2012 IND filing for hepatitis C drug candidate
“Drug discovery startup NovaTarg is ramping up preclinical research in preparation of an expected investigational new drug application filing for the company’s first drug candidate – a new hepatitis C treatment .”

Medical Waste Poses Serious Threat to Scavengers
NAIROBI – “For Collins Otieno, the onset of a new day ushers in mixed fortunes that can either earn him some money or expose him to infection, as he struggles to make ends meet by scavenging for waste.”

Ont. salon's unsterile piercings prompt health warning
WINDSOR, Ont. – “Health authorities are warning customers who received body piercings from a Chatham, Ont., nail salon to get tested for viruses including HIV.”

Celebrities and the Dormant Hepatitis C Virus
“The Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD) wishes to use the experience of certain celebrities to educate the public about the dormant hepatitis C virus.”

CDC reports hepatitis C transmission via transplants
“The CDC reported Thursday that organs and tissue taken from the body of a middle-aged Kentucky man turned out to have been infected with hepatitis C virus and cited four instances in which transplant recipients became infected with that virus.”

Scynexis aims to raise $15M; hepatitis C drug candidate in phase 2 trials
“Drug discovery and development firm Scynexis, which is moving forward on a new hepatitis C treatment, has raised $5 million in a fundraising effort targeted to reach up to $15 million.”

Liver Disease Bulletin: Should Iron Be in Your Multi-Vitamin?
“Based on their ability to support the body’s wellness, there are many reasons why someone with chronic liver disease would take a multi-vitamin. Upon first glance, most multi-vitamins appear to be similar. However, closer inspection reveals that quite a few multi-vitamins contain iron. Unless specifically struggling with an iron deficiency, those with chronic liver disease are advised to double-check their multi-vitamin to make sure iron is not listed as an ingredient.”

Week Ending December 18, 2011

Congress to Restore Federal Syringe Exchange Funding Ban as Part of 2012 Spending Package
“As part of the 2012 spending package being voted on today, Congress is restoring a ban on using federal funding for syringe exchange programs that reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other infectious diseases. The ban, enacted in the 1980s and repealed in 2009, was largely responsible for hundreds of thousands of Americans contracting HIV/AIDS directly or indirectly from the sharing of used syringes. Advocates warn that restoring the ban will result in thousands of Americans contracting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C or other infectious diseases next year alone.”

Merck Sharpe and Dohme and Roche commence HCV studies
“Merck Sharpe and Dohme has begun a new clinical partnership with Roche on the development of new therapy options for hepatitis C virus (HCV).”

100 screened for deadly Hepatitis C
“It has screened 624 Stoke-on-Trent men and women between the ages of 18 and 64 since July last year. Of those people, 100 have been treated for Hepatitis C and 43 have been completely cured and discharged.”

Pharmasset, Inc. (VRUS) to Change Design of Hepatitis C Treatment Study, Says Trial Change Won't Affect Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) Takeover
“Pharmasset, Inc. announced today that the company will amend the design of the QUANTUM Phase 2b trial of the guanine nucleotide analog PSI-938 and discontinue all treatment arms with a regimen containing PSI-938.”

Pendleton needle program aims to prevent disease
PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) – “The 20–something woman approached the van looking jittery and conflicted. Seeing that the back of the delivery–style truck was open, she meandered there. The boxy truck, with Umatilla-Morrow Alternatives Health Van written on the side, was parked at Pendleton's Stillman Park.”

U.S. Will Not Finance New Research on Chimps
“The National Institutes of Health on Thursday suspended all new grants for biomedical and behavioral research on chimpanzees and accepted the first uniform criteria for assessing the necessity of such research. Those guidelines require that the research be necessary for human health, and that there be no other way to accomplish it.”

Study: Hep C Doesn’t Impair Women’s Cognitive Faculties
“Infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) doesn't damage women's cognitive function—mental tasks such as attention, memory and the abilities to solve problems and make decisions—according to Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) data published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and reported by aidsmap. The researchers confirmed, however, that HIV infection alone is independently associated with cognitive impairment.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Completes Patient Entry For Phase III Trial Program In Hepatitis C
“According to Boehringer Ingelheim's announcement, the company's large-scale Phase III clinical trial program for BI210335, an investigational, oral protease inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) has randomized the final patient for treatment.”

Week Ending December 11, 2011

BMS and Tibotec plan all-oral hepatitis C regimen
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) Tibotec subsidiary to develop a combination oral therapy for hepatitis C.

Liver experts: Baby boomers especially should be tested for Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a silent killer. Experts advise general public tested.

Experts at Montefiore Medical Center are urging the general public to be tested for Hepatitis C, especially baby boomers that may be at high risk from past exposure to the virus.

Bristol-Myers, J&J form hepatitis C partnership
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Friday it will collaborate with a unit of Johnson & Johnson to study a potential combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C.

Delhi is first city to launch Hepatitis C screening
New Delhi: Delhi on Sunday became the first city in the country to begin screening for the ‘silent killer’ Hepatitis C.

Green tea flavonoid may prevent reinfection with hepatitis C virus following liver transplantation
German researchers have determined that epigallocatechin–3–gallate (EGCG)–a flavonoid found in green tea–inhibits the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from entering liver cells. Study findings available in the December issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley–Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, suggest that EGCG may offer an antiviral strategy to prevent HCV reinfection following liver transplantation.

Ottawa's crack pipe exchange is working, study finds
Ottawa’s crack pipe exchange program is reducing sharing of the drug paraphernalia in the city, which should help reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C, according to a study released Thursday.

OraQuick HCV Test Gets Clearance for Wider Use
Good news for doctor’s offices, outreach clinics and community–based organizations looking to use OraSure Technologies’ rapid test for hepatitis C virus (HCV): The test has been granted a CLIA waiver, meaning that its use is no longer limited to professionals who have received laboratory certification from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Hepatitis-C Screening Can Save Lives
It’s the most common chronic infection in the U.S., affecting more than three million people. But nearly 75 percent of them don't know they have hepatitis-C — which can silently cause liver damage for years. Now, research shows routine screening for hepatitis-C can save many lives each year. FOX 9 health expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou has more.

Sector Snap: Hepatitis C drugmakers
A William Blair & Co. analyst said Tuesday that the market for hepatitis C treatment will expand quickly over the next decade, and Gilead Sciences Inc. could take a commanding lead because of its pending acquisition of drug developer Pharmasset.

Hepatitis common at Washington Penitentiary
It is arguably one of the most private of taxpayer-funded hospitals. And despite offering free medical care, the price of admission would be considered inordinately high by most.

Week Ending November 27, 2011

About 10 million people infected with Hepatitis- C in Pakistan
KARACHI: Viral hepatitis is affecting about 400 million people, out of which one third cases are due to Hepatitis-C Virus (HCV) alone.

“In Pakistan about 10 million people, which is about 6 per cent of the total population, is affected with hepatitis–C.”

Bread of Healing Clinic connects patients with needed drugs, care
Lenora Johnson thought she had broken the string of rejections and finally landed health insurance until she read the fine print.

“"They said they would accept me, but they would not treat my pre-existing condition," said Johnson, whose reason for wanting coverage in the first place was to address her worsening hepatitis C, a viral disease that causes severe swelling and slowly destroys the liver.”

University launches iphone app for hepatitis treatment
“Hepatitis C was first discovered in the 1980s when it became apparent that there was a new virus causing liver damage. Hepatitis C causes inflammation and swelling of the liver. It is estimated that over 170million individuals – representing 3% of the world’s population – are chronically infected with the Hepatitis C virus. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV.”

Disposal of Hypodermic Needles Difficult In Falmouth
Massachusetts – “Falmouth residents who use injections to manage their health care at home have no environmentally friendly options in town to dispose of needles.”

Neglect, ignorance raise HCV infection in Vietnam
“The number of Hepatitis C patients in Vietnam is increasing, and around half a million people are estimated to develop cirrhosis and liver cancer this year, experts said at a recent seminar.”

Province to bring in regulations for tattoo parlours
Regulations are in the works for Nova Scotia’s body art industry.

“Services such tattooing, piercing or scarification will fall under the Body Art Act, which Health Minister Maureen MacDonald introduced in the legislature Wednesday afternoon.”

Hep C deaths outpace HIV; new drugs, services for coinfected
“Deaths related to hepatitis C have outpaced those due to HIV/AIDS since 2007, researchers reported at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting earlier this month in San Francisco.”

Hepatitis Screening Offered With Routine Colonoscopy Accepted by 75%
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. – “A screening colonoscopy can provide a convenient opportunity to simultaneously test older adults for hepatitis, based on a study of 500 patients, 75% of whom agreed to blood tests for hepatitis A, B, and C.”

May I Be Frank: A Life-Changing Documentary
“Talk about life-changing documentaries, and there have been a lot in the past few years. This is one to add to the list for sure!”

Hepatitis C drug market in Mexico expected to double to $104 million in 2015
““The hepatitis C virus (HCV) market in Mexico will nearly double from $56 million in 2010 to $104 million in 2015. According to advisory firm Decision Resources’ new Emerging Markets report, hepatitis C Virus in Mexico, an increase in the size of the prevalent HCV population in Mexico and the launch of new HCV-specific protease inhibitors will contribute to market growth.”

Bill that would allow over the counter sales of hypodermic needles advances in N.J. Assembly
“An Assembly panel has advanced a bill to allow the sale of small quantities of hypodermic needles over the counter in order to decrease the spread of bloodborne diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.”

Week Ending November 20, 2011

Gilead Sciences to Buy Pharmasset for About $11 Billion
“Gilead Sciences Inc. agreed to acquire drug developer Pharmasset Inc. for nearly $11 billion, placing a big bet on the growing market for new treatments for hepatitis C infections.”

Drinking coffee helps hepatitis C treatment
Drinking coffee may help treat hepatitis C, according to a new study.

“Freedman N. D. of the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland and colleagues reported in the June 2011 issue of Gastroenterology that drinking three or more cups of coffee per day helped hepatitis c treatment.”

Achillion in Talks With Potential Buyers or Partners, Chief Executive Says
“Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACHN), expecting clinical data on three experimental hepatitis C therapies, is in “advanced discussions” with potential partners and acquirers, Chief Executive Officer Michael Kishbauch said.”

Miami VA Hospital Chief Ousted
MIAMI – “The head of the Miami Veterans Affairs hospital was removed from her position Wednesday, more than two years after 2,500 veterans were told the colonoscopies they had there might have been performed with improperly cleaned equipment.”

A Doctor’s Bout With Hepatitis C
“I had no idea when I went to medical school back in the mid-’70s that I would become the embodiment of the phrase “Physician, heal thyself.” But that’s precisely what happened.”

Milk Thistle Extract Comparable to Placebo in Hep C Liver Enzyme Study
“Silymarin, an extract of milk thistle (Carduus marianus), had no benefit on levels of the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in people living with hepatitis C, according to a new study reported Tuesday, November 8, by researchers at the 62nd annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in San Francisco.”

Week Ending November 13, 2011

New PI Effective, Safe in HCV Trial
“An investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug — a second–generation protease inhibitor given once a day — was safe and effective in a phase IIB randomized trial, a researcher said here.”

Hepatitis C Now More Deadly than AIDS in United States
HCV Testing to Be Recommended for Baby Boomers

“Hepatitis C, or HCV, is now causing more deaths in the United States than HIV/AIDS, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the 62nd annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. Due to the already–high number of baby boomers who die from HCV, the CDC is on the cusp of officially recommending one–time HCV testing for this age group.”

Rationale and design of a randomized controlled trial of directly observed hepatitis C treatment delivered in methadone clinics
“Most methadone–maintained injection drug users (IDUs) have been infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), but few initiate HCV treatment. Physicians may be reluctant to treat HCV in IDUs because of concerns about treatment adherence, psychiatric comorbidity, or ongoing drug use.”

Merck highlights updated pipeline
“The firm’s late–stage pipeline consists of 32 Phase II and Phase III candidates including new molecular entities and combination programmes for Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and hepatitis C.”

Boehringer Ingelheim believes that one of its investigational drugs for liver disease hepatitis C (HCV) could shorten patients’ treatment time and help in hard-to-treat cases.
“The treatment of hepatitis C has moved forward recently, with Janssen’s Incivo (telaprevir) and Merck and Roche’s Victrelis (boceprevir) both recently launched in Europe.”

Study Explores Economic Cost of Hepatitis C Patients with Advanced Liver Disease
“Healthcare costs for hepatitis C patients with end-stage liver disease are nearly 2.5 times higher than those in the early stages, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study. Although infection with the hepatitis C virus increases healthcare costs overall, the specific impact of the disease’s progressive severity on healthcare costs has previously not been well studied.”

Grants Awarded to Two Bay Area Organizations Working to Help Hepatitis C Patients
SF General Hospital Foundation and O.A.S.I.S. Clinic Among the 16 Non-profits Across the Country to Receive Funding

“Two Bay Area–based organizations, the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation and the O.A.S.I.S. Clinic, were awarded significant funding last week from Vertex Pharmaceuticals as part of a larger national initiative called Hep C Circle of Care.”

GSK presents phase III results for eltrombopag in hepatitis C virus related thrombo-cytopenia
“Findings from the ENABLE clinical trials, which evaluated the ability of eltrombopag to raise and maintain platelet levels in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and low platelet levels that would preclude initiation of interferon–based antiviral therapy, were presented today at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in San Francisco. Use of eltrombopag to treat thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic HCV infection is not approved anywhere in the world.”

Week Ending November 6, 2011

Putting an end to viral hepatitis: America’s silent killer
“There’s a silent killer loose in America. It is viral hepatitis, and it contributes to the death of 15,000 Americans every year. Most people don’t even know they have it until years later when it’s too late for any treatment to work.”

Positive Interim Data From a Phase 2 Study of INCIVEK™ (telaprevir) Combination Therapy in People Co-Infected with Hepatitis C and HIV Presented at The Liver Meeting®
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated today announced positive interim results from an ongoing Phase 2 study designed to evaluate the safety and tolerability of INCIVEK™ (telaprevir) tablets in combination with pegylated–interferon and ribavirin in people who are co-infected with chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”

Novartis DEB025 data showed viral clearance as early as six weeks and potential for interferon-free therapy in hepatitis C patients
“Novartis announced today new Phase II data showing that first-in-class DEB025 (alisporivir) may produce early viral elimination (or clearance) in interferon-free regimens (as monotherapy or with ribavirin), in previously untreated patients infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 2 and 3[1].”

Interim Data for Merck's VICTRELIS™(boceprevir) in Prior Null Responder Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 1 to be Presented at The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2011 Annual Meeting
“Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, today announced results of an interim analysis from the PROVIDE study, an open-label study examining the efficacy of VICTRELIS™ (boceprevir), the company's first–in–class, oral hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitor, in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin (P/R) in adult patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 who had a null response to prior P/R therapy.”

Tibotec to Present Final Safety and Efficacy Results From Phase 2b PILLAR Study of Once-Daily TMC435 in Late-Breaker at AASLD
“Tibotec Pharmaceuticals (Tibotec), one of the Janssen (Janssen) Pharmaceutical Companies, today will present results of the final analysis of PILLAR, a phase 2b study of the investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitor TMC435 in treatment-naive patients with chronic genotype 1 HCV, as part of a late-breaker oral presentation at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco, CA, USA.”

AASLD: African Americans Face Hep C ‘Triple Whammy’
“African Americans face a "triple whammy" when it comes to the hepatitis C virus, a researcher said here.”

Testing Hepatitis C By Birth Cohort Is Cost Effective: Study
“Birth cohort screening for hepatitis C is cost effective in the primary care setting which could save many thousands of lives each year, according to a new study.”

Pharmasset striding into Ph3 to lead pack of oral Hep C drug developers
“Pharmasset as grabbed a leading post in the race for new oral therapies against the hepatitis C virus, initiating a Phase III program involving a combo of its experimental drug PSI-7977 and ribavirin. Importantly, the combo requires no injections of interferon like current therapies for the liver–damaging disease.”

Week Ending October 29, 2011

Astex Pharmaceuticals to Present a Novel Targeted Approach to the Treatment of HCV at the AASLD Meeting
“Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics, announced that it will present data on its novel, first–in–class direct acting antiviral agents (DAA) against Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco, November 4-8, 2011.”

Encouraging Interim Trial Results for Hep C Non-Responders
“After just three months of a Phase 2b study, Setrobuvir with pegylated interferon and ribavirin led to undetectable viral levels in over three quarters of previous Hepatitis C treatment non–responders.”

Cytheris to announce Eclipse II Hepatitis C study data at AASLD meeting
“Cytheris, a biopharmaceutical company, has announced to present the data from an interim analysis of its Eclipse II Hepatitis C Phase I/IIa multicenter study at the 62nd annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).”

Bayhealth presents hepatitis C support group meeting
Dover, Delaware – “Bayhealth Medical Center is offering a hepatitis C support group for patients, their families and friends.”

Victrelis Doubles Hepatitis C Treatment Response Rates In People With HIV
“Interim results from an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial indicate that the hepatitis C drug Victrelis, in combination with peginterferon and ribavirin, resulted in twice as many HIV-positive patients achieving undetectable hepatitis C virus levels than peginterferon and ribavirin alone.”

Hepatitis is a public health concern
“In the United States, three types of hepatitis are most common – Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Each of the three types is caused by a different virus. Although each has similar symptoms, they are spread differently and can have different effects. Hepatitis A is an acute or short – term infection that usually goes away on its own.”

Abbott Announces Positive Data from Mid-Stage Trial of Hepatitis C Therapy
“Abbott on Friday announced interim data from mid-stage trials of its experimental hepatitis C drug combination that suggested patients could achieve a viral cure without use of interferon and that the duration of therapy could be about half as long as conventional therapies.”

Week Ending October 23, 2011

Roche: New Era Of Hepatitis Therapies Creates Short-Term Threat, Long-Term Opportunity
Roche says it plans to pay $230 million for Anadys Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based developer of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of hepatitis C. Anadys’ compounds could bring Roche closer to a cure for the viral infection, or at least closer to interferon-free treatment regimen, says Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development.

Risks of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Elaborated in European Studies
Smoking, obesity, heavy alcohol consumption and chronic hepatitis B and C infection contribute to a large share of the disease burden of hepatocellular carcinoma in Europe. These are the findings of a cohort study published online October 21 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New Boehringer Ingelheim Hepatitis C Data to Be Presented at AASLD
Boehringer Ingelheim announced today that new data from its hepatitis C virus (HCV) portfolio will be presented in scientific sessions at The Liver Meeting® 2011, the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), taking place November 4 – November 8 in San Francisco, CA. The abstracts are published online at www.aasld.org.

Natalie Cole's hepatitis C talk turns personal, political
Here's one way to raise awareness about a debilitating disease. Openly share every frightful detail about how you contracted it and then, as this is Washington, top if off with a little political chatter. That basically sums of singer Natalie Cole's appearance at the National Press Club on Wednesday to talk about what she's been fighting since 2008, hepatitis C.

New, effective drugs treat Hepatitis C
Doctor calls results ‘very optimistic’

Hepatitis C patients at the Iowa Digestive Disease Center are seeing promising results from new medications to treat the disease that has had historically low cure rates.

Vertex’ Incivek Available In Canada
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently announced the availability of Incivek (telaprevir) in Canada, for treating patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C (HCV) with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). We note that even though the liver is damaged in patients with compensated liver disease, the liver continues to function.

Fears fish foot spa pedicures could spread HIV and hepatitis C
Fish foot spa pedicures could spread diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, health experts have warned.

Week Ending October 16, 2011

The Hepatitis C Wars: What Docs Say About The Newest Meds
“Over the past several days, there has been a great deal of confusion about the extent to which physicians are embracing the new Incivek hepatitis C drug that is sold by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. The reason is that IMS Health, the market research firm that tracks prescriptions, has to restate mail-order activity for the drug for the last two weeks of September.”

Research reveals novel aspects of virus-fighting protein news
“Researchers at Yale University have for the first time described how a key protein involved in detecting and fighting viral infection interacts with invading viral molecules and stimulates an immune response. The protein, called RIG–I, has been the subject of intensive study worldwide, but its molecular structure was unknown until now.”

Taking a big step in the fight against blood-borne diseases
“New Jersey officials will have a golden opportunity in the remaining weeks of 2011 to extend and build upon a program that is helping reduce the number of people dying or suffering from HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases.”

Seven ways to reduce infections among people who inject drugs
“Seven interventions, one aim: no infections among people who inject drugs. In a new guidance document out today, EU agencies ECDC and the EMCDDA have joined forces to identify seven interventions to reduce and prevent infectious diseases in this vulnerable population. Many European countries have achieved substantial progress in recent years in preventing drug-related infections. Drug injecting, however, remains a major cause of infectious diseases across Europe. The interventions proposed range from the supply of injection equipment, testing and vaccination to the treatment of infections and drug dependence. These are best applied in combination and ideally in the same venue for maximum effect.”

Gene variant that helps hepatitis C treatment may hinder HIV treatment
“A common variant in a gene that doubles the chance of hepatitis C treatment working in people co–infected with HIV may also nearly double the risk of death in patients taking antiretroviral therapy.”

Anadys gets a boost from positive PhIIb hep C study
“Shares of San Diego–based Anadys got a bump this morning on the news that its interim data from a Phase IIb study of its hepatitis C drug setrobuvir looks positive, helping to position the developer as it angles for a place at the table for future drug cocktails.”

From Needle Stick to Cure for Hepatitis
“As doctors–in–training in the early 1990s, my friends and I became obsessed with the question of what we would do if we were pricked with an infected needle at work. We all had witnessed the inexorable, often painful march toward death of patients with hepatitis C and AIDS. We imagined the despair we would feel in that situation: the dashed hopes, the lost years of schooling and training. Many of us saw ourselves walking out of the hospital and not looking back. We couldn’t imagine throwing ourselves back into the fray.”

Hepatitis C Medication Adherence Is an Important Challenge, Study Shows
“Identifying and overcoming barriers to hepatitis C medication adherence is an essential component to treatment strategies, according to study results published online by Annals of Internal Medicine.”

UC San Diego School of Medicine Launches Hepatitis C Clinical Trials
Hepatitis C Community Forum to be held October 20

“A collaborative partnership between the UC San Diego Liver Center and Antiviral Research Center (AVRC) has resulted in 19 clinical trials for hepatitis C virus (HCV), focused on developing more effective and well–tolerated HCV treatments.”

Engineering Hope: Curing Hepatitis C
“The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than three million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C. In Dallas, University Of Texas Southwestern’s Dr. William Lee first started seeing patients more than twenty years ago, when the cure rate was just five percent. Now his patients are seeing a cure rate of close to 70 percent thanks to two new drugs that received FDA approval this summer.”

Week Ending October 9, 2011

Hepatitis C landscape changing as the new protease inhibitors adopted into clinical practice
“Three months after the launch of Vertex’s Incivek (telaprevir) and Merck & Co/Roche’s Victrelis (boceprevir), results from the second wave of research conducted by BioTrends Research Group (a Decision Resources unit) indicate strong interest and high demand for triple therapy with the new protease inhibitors.”

Pharmasset Announces Further Expansion of ELECTRON Trial in Hepatitis C
“Pharmasset, Inc. announced today the addition of two treatment arms to the ELECTRON trial of PSI–7977, a nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitor, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV).”

Hepatitis C Virus May Increase The Risk Of Brain Disorders And Death In People With HIV
“Results from a recent study indicate that brain disorders, particularly epilepsy and seizures, are more common in HIV-positive patients with hepatitis C virus than in patients with HIV alone. The risk of death was also higher for these individuals.”

Boehringer signs away HIV rights to focus on hep C
Boehringer Ingelheim has signed a deal giving Gilead Sciences exclusive worldwide rights to a major part of its HIV portfolio.

“The deal will allow Boehringer to concentrate on other areas of its virology portfolio, in particular hepatitis C where its lead compound – BI 201335 – moved into Phase III trials earlier this year.”

Health Watch: New Hep C treatment could improve cure rates
“Two new medications are giving hope to those affected by Hepatitis C. In this week's "Health Watch," NewsChannel 10's Michelle Langowski has more on the treatment expected to improve cure rates.”

Announcements: CDC Symposium on Hepatitis C Laboratory Testing and Surveillance — December 1 — 2, 2011
“The Food and Drug Administration recently approved several highly efficacious drugs for treating persons infected with hepatitis C, serving as an additional impetus for improving efforts to screen for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. On December 1—2, 2011, CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis will host a symposium titled, Identification, Screening, and Surveillance of HCV Infections in the Era of Improved Therapy for Hepatitis C, where international experts will present their latest perspectives and findings regarding HCV screening and surveillance, and roundtable discussions will be held to promote an exchange of ideas.”

Hepatitis C: Session sheds light on silent disease
New Mexico – “Hepatitis C is not a new disease. But more and more people, primarily in the baby boomer population, are just finding out that they've been living with it for years.”

Obesity May Explain Liver Cancer Hike Among Latinos
“A combination of risk factors may be driving a large increase in liver cancer among Latinos in the United States, researchers said at a conference sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Research.”

Week Ending October 2, 2011

Hepatitis C in the U.S. May Be Underestimated by Over a Million
“In the United States, the number of people who have been infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) may have been undercounted by a whopping 1.1 million, according to a paper published in the September 2011 edition of Liver International. Epidemiologists believe that at least 5.2 million people in the United States are HCV antibody positive—meaning that they were infected at one time, although they may not have developed chronic hepatitis C—an increase of 1.1 million over The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) estimate of 4.1 million cases.”

Updated Hepatitis C Practice Guidelines Now Available from AASLD
“On Monday, September 26, 2011, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases published online at its journal Hepatology's website (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hep.24641/full ) an update to its practice guidelines for hepatitis C – “An Update on Treatment of Genotype 1 Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection: 2011 Practice Guideline by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.” AASLD is the premiere organization for research and education in the area of liver disease. The authors of the update are Marc Ghany, David R. Nelson, Doris B. Strader, David L. Thomas, and Leonard B. Seeff, all of whom are thought leaders in the field of hepatology.”

Shorter triple drug hepatitis C drug regimen effective
“A triple therapy regimen consisting of telaprevir (Incivek, Vertex) administered during the first 12 weeks followed by 24 weeks of peginterferon alfa and ribavirin was noninferior to the same regimen administered for 48 weeks among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.”

Research Yields Unprecedented Insight into Antiviral Immune Response Findings Published in Nature by Researchers at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
“Many viruses infecting humans including influenza virus, hepatitis C virus, West Nile virus, rabies and measles viruses contain a ribonucleic acid (RNA) genome.”

Hepatitis C Testing Initiative
The "Step Up to The Plate Against Hepatitis C" initiative is a nationwide effort by Major League Baseball to bring attention to the causes and treatment of Hepatitis C.

“OraSure Technologies recently co–sponsored the "Step Up to The Plate Against Hepatitis C" initiative as part of a nationwide effort by Major League Baseball to bring attention to the causes and treatment of Hepatitis C at several ballparks throughout the country. Sponsored by Merck, the American Liver Foundation, Coalition of Positive Health Empowerment and OraSure, the program offers free hepatitis C testing and promotes education and support for the prevention, diagnosis and management of hepatitis C.”

Virus has Las Vegas police detective preaching precaution
“Las Vegas police detective Kenny Nogle talked about how he got his affairs in order before he took a bullet.”

Report highlights ill health suffered by homeless people
“Depression, dental decay and the threat to health from alcohol and drug use feature heavily among homeless people, almost half of whom suffer from both physical and mental ill health, according to a report.”

Hepatitis C: Session sheds light on silent disease
“Hepatitis C is not a new disease. But more and more people, primarily in the baby boomer population, are just finding out that they've been living with it for years. Hepatitis C is not a new disease. But more and more people, primarily in the baby boomer population, are just finding out that they've been living with it for years.”

Vertex to Present New Data from Hepatitis C Development Program at AASLD Annual MeetingLate-Breaker Presentations Include Phase 2 Data from INCIVEK-Based Combination Regimen in HIV/HCV Co-Infection and Short Duration Treatment with a Four-Drug Regimen Including INCIVEK and VX-222
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated today announced that abstracts from its hepatitis C program, including two late-breaking posters from studies of INCIVEK(TM) (telaprevir) tablets and VX-222, were accepted for presentation at The Liver Meeting(R), the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco, November 4-8, 2011.”

Mallory-Denk Bodies on Biopsy Predict Fibrosis Progression in HCV
“In patients who have chronic hepatitis C and undergo liver biopsy, the presence of Mallory-Denk bodies – hepatocyte cytoplasmic inclusions that occur in several chronic liver diseases – is independently associated with progression of liver fibrosis, Dr. Mina O. Rakoski and her colleagues reported in the October issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.”

Hepatitis C patients likely to falter in adherence to treatment regimen over time, Penn study shows
Findings point to need for interventions to help patients take drugs properly

“Patients being treated for chronic hepatitis C become less likely to take their medications over time, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Since the study also showed better response to the drugs when they're taken correctly, the researchers say the findings should prompt clinicians to assess patients for barriers to medication adherence throughout their treatment, and develop strategies to help them stay on track. The study is published online this month in Annals of Internal Medicine.”

Week Ending September 18, 2011

Two-thirds of Hepatitis C Patients Can See a Cure in Half the Time, New Study Finds
“Treatment with a telaprevir-based combination regimen for hepatitis C – heretofore a chronic, destructive and difficult to manage disease – effectively can be shortened to six months in about two-thirds of patients, finds a new study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

Bristol-Myers’s Once-Daily Hepatitis C Drug Works in Study
“Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s experimental hepatitis C drug worked in combination with two established medicines to cure as many as 83 percent of patients, a study found.”

Teva bets $7.5M on hep C program at upstart Cocrystal
“As the generic drug giant pushes to capitalize on more novel therapies, Teva Pharmaceutical has invested an initial $7.5 million in Bothell, WA-based developer Cocrystal Discovery to advance its work on new drugs targeting the hepatitis C virus. If it likes what it sees, Teva has the option to pump more money into the upstart, which is focused on small-molecule antiviral drugs.”

Coffee Helps Minimize Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effects
Is there anything a good cup of coffee (or three) can’t do?

“Not only does coffee consumption slow liver disease progression and increase the chances of success while undergoing treatment for chronic hepatitis C infection, but drinking three or more cups a day also appears to reduce the incidence of hep C treatment side effects by more than 80 percent.”

Consortium Examines Genes Predicting Hepatitis C Treatment Response
“Gene variants in a smattering of immune-related genes can help predict which individuals will respond to treatments for chronic hepatitis C virus infection, according to a study appearing online last night in PLoS Medicine.”

Anadys' Setrobuvir Named One of Windhover's Top 10 Most Interesting Infectious Disease Projects to Watch “Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that setrobuvir (ANA598), the Company's direct-acting antiviral (DAA) currently in Phase IIb development for hepatitis C, has been selected as one of Windhover's Top 10 Most Interesting Infectious Disease Projects to Watch.”

Pharmasset climbs after study result released
“Drug developer Pharmasset Inc. hit a "home run" with results from a mid-stage study of a potential hepatitis C virus treatment, according to a Citi analyst.”

Fresno Needle Exchange Program Presses On
“The Fresno needle exchange program has been providing clean needles and containers to drug users since 1994.”

Hep C weaknesses could lead to vaccine
Australian researchers have discovered two "Achilles heels" in the hepatitis C virus that could help protect people against infection.

“A team from the University of New South Wales says the discovery of these weaknesses could lead to the creation of an effective vaccine.”

Week Ending September 11, 2011

New Treatment Options Are On The Horizon For People Co-Infected With HIV And Hepatitis C Virus
“According to a recent review, the new hepatitis C treatment options Victrelis and Incivek may soon be available for people with HIV and hepatitis C. In the meantime, the authors suggested that strategies be developed to optimize management of hepatitis C in HIV patients with currently available treatment options.”

Anadys' Setrobuvir Named One of Windhover's Top 10 Most Interesting Infectious Disease Projects to Watch
“Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that setrobuvir (ANA598), the Company's direct-acting antiviral (DAA) currently in Phase IIb development for hepatitis C, has been selected as one of Windhover's Top 10 Most Interesting Infectious Disease Projects to Watch.”

Pharmasset climbs after study result released
“Drug developer Pharmasset Inc. hit a "home run" with results from a mid-stage study of a potential hepatitis C virus treatment, according to a Citi analyst.”

Fresno Needle Exchange Program Presses On
“The Fresno needle exchange program has been providing clean needles and containers to drug users since 1994.”

Hep C weaknesses could lead to vaccine
Australian researchers have discovered two "Achilles heels" in the hepatitis C virus that could help protect people against infection.

“A team from the University of New South Wales says the discovery of these weaknesses could lead to the creation of an effective vaccine.”

Week Ending September 4, 2011

Dramatic Changes in Hepatitis C Treatment Expected to Continue
“Earlier this year the FDA approved telaprevir (Incivek) from Vertex Pharmaceuticals and boceprevir (Victrelis) from Merck for the treatment of hepatitis C. Both agents are protease inhibitors and represent the first approvals of direct acting antivirals for hepatitis C. Direct acting antivirals are a broad class of agents that act to block the growth of viruses by directly disrupting essential viral functions.””

Gilead Amends Study Design for Ongoing Hepatitis C Clinical Trials That Include GS 9190, Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin, and Another Direct-Acting Antiviral Agent
“Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced that, in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company will amend the design of ongoing clinical trials to discontinue dosing of GS 9190 in hepatitis C-infected patients who are receiving that compound in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, and another direct-acting antiviral agent.”

Comprehensive Management of Liver Disease ?at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation
“Since 1974, the Marion Bessin Liver Research Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine – with support from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – has been a pioneer in advancing liver disease treatment through basic science research. The result of a partnership between Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, the Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation was created to offer a clinical component to the research being conducted, allowing patients access to the latest techniques and technologies.”

Inovio Pharmaceuticals: seeking to not only improve on today’s vaccines, but change the vaccine paradigm
“Inovio Pharmaceuticals is a small biotechnology company focused on vaccine development. It is at the forefront in the field of novel DNA based vaccines, a revolutionary change over conventional treatments that rely on the inoculation of actual viral particles or live attenuated viruses. The company’s platform technologies are two-fold: first is creation of the vaccine; then a unique delivery technology.”

‘Hepatitis C has been accepted as not being a dirty word’
“Hepatitis C is curable. Yet, it is responsible for some 86,000 deaths in Europe and 9 million people are infected, according to the World Health Organization. Tackling this are four nurses at HMP Forest Bank in Greater Manchester who are testing, treating and educating prisoners.”

Medivir concludes patient recruitment in three Phase 3 trials
“Medivir has concluded patient recruitment in three Phase 3 trials evaluating TMC435 in both treatment naive and treatment experienced hepatitis C genotype–1 infected patients.”

NIOSH announces community-based anti-needlestick campaign
An estimated 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur annually among health care workers in hospitals alone, exposing them to bloodborne pathogens. A new initiative focuses on raising awareness of the risks and trying to persuadeworkers to make changes necessary to reduce sharps injuries.

“Stop Sticks is a community-based program announced by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are among the bloodborne pathogens that can result from needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries in the workplace.”

Week Ending August 29, 2011

Pharmasset hepatitis drug may get faster review
“Pharmasset Inc. said Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration has awarded fast track status to its hepatitis C drug candidate PSI–938. The FDA’s decision will allow Pharmasset to submit its marketing application step by step instead of all at once. Regulators will also have the option to review the application in six months instead of the usual 10 months.”

New Hep C drug priced out of reach of most patients
“Despite approval by Health Canada, Boceprevir, a new drug that dramatically improves the effectiveness of standard hepatitis C treatments remains out of reach of most patients. Boceprevir (brand name Victrelis) is available at pharmacies at a price of $1,050 per week.”

Contamination risk from surgeons' gumboots
“A study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal today finds that blood found its way into nearly 60 per cent of gumboots worn by surgery staff in theatre. Researchers say contamination could be putting medical staff at risk of blood-borne infections, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.”

Taking control of hep C health
“A six-week workshop will start this month for people diagnosed with a HIV and hepatitis C co–infection. The two-hour information sessions begin on Tuesday, August 30 and will be run by People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) Victoria.”

Week Ending August 14, 2011

Scotland Struggles with Epidemic of Hepatitis C
“In the wake of rising incidence rate of hepatitis C, warning signals have been sent in the community of Scotland. Even reports have confirmed 39,000 cases of hepatitis C, with 1,600 new cases being diagnosed each year. The most shocking part is that a large number of people are not even aware whether they are carrying the infection or not.”

New drug targets hepatitis C virus
“A new drug that directly targets the most common form of hepatitis C has been launched in the UK.”

Gregg Allman cancels tour due to illness
“Doctors have ordered Gregg Allman, the Southern rock legend and frontman of the Allman Brothers Band, to cancel a series of upcoming tour dates because of a respiratory infection.”

The hep pill
‘Wonder drug’ for Hepatitis C patients”
“The first effective treatment for the most common form of Hepatitis C launches today - providing fresh hope for sufferers worldwide.”

Week Ending August 7, 2011

New approach a step forward for hepatitis C vaccine
(Reuters) – “French scientists have developed a novel hepatitis C vaccine that may offer the first effective way to prevent an infection that can cause chronic liver disease and cancer.”

Experts warn of backyard tattooing risks
“New South Wales north coast health authorities fear a rise in the popularity of backyard tattooing and piercing will help the spread of blood-borne diseases like hepatitis and HIV.”

Low Vitamin D Levels Could Cause Liver Disease
“We are all aware that low levels of vitamin D can cause weak bones. A recent study indicates that it could be associated with liver disease as well!”

Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 1 Drug, Victrelis (Boceprevir) Launched In UK Today
“Victrelis (boceprevir), the first licenced medication to directly target the hepatitis virus was launched today in the United Kingdom. Victrelis is said to help clear the virus in nearly three times as many patients who did not respond properly to prior treatment, and nearly twice as many treatment naïve patients, compared to just current therapy.”

Health Canada clears promising new hep C drug
“A new drug, recently approved by Health Canada, brings a cure closer for the 250,000 hepatitis C sufferers across Canada.”

Counseling, Drug Treatment Can Increase Hep C Treatment Eligibility
“A combination of counseling and case management can help people living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and psychiatric or substance use disorders to qualify for therapy to combat the infection, according to research reported in the July 2011 issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology.”

Week Ending July 31, 2011

White House Commemorates World Hepatitis Day 2011
“Today, I was honored to participate in a special White House event to commemorate the first official World Hepatitis Day. This event was one of many held across the United States and around the world for communities to join together and focus attention on the global health threat of viral hepatitis and promote actions to confront it.”

Chronic hepatitis C estimated at 9.2 million individuals in Middle East and North Africa
“During a press conference in Dubai on World Hepatitis Day scientific medical experts from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region jointly announced a consensus statement on the identification and challenges posed by chronic hepatitis C in this region, calling for national and local governments and health care providers to join forces to address this condition.”

Exhibit fights stigma of Hep C
“In an effort to raise awareness of the plight of people living with hepatitis C, residents impacted by the disease decided to create a series of artworks to coincide with World Hepatitis Day on Thursday.”

Prisoners stage protest over sick inmate
“A 30-prisoner standoff broke out in the Wilkinson Road jail Thursday night after prisoners decided an inmate had been denied hospitalization and proper medication.”

Allman Brothers Host Hepatitis C Benefit Show
“The Allman Brothers Band brought out some of their talented friends for a special fundraiser to support research for Hepatitis C in New York City on July 27.”

Hepatitis Is Increasing Among Drug Users
“Based on a new study, 10 million drug users who prefer injecting drugs have hepatitis C while 1.3 million of them have hepatitis B. If left untreated, hepatitis can result to more serious problems like liver failure, cancer or cirrhosis. Researchers gathered data and discovered that between 60 and 80% of injection drug users (IDUs) have hepatitis C infection in 25 countries.”

United Kingdom: Programs May Curb Hepatitis C in Drug Users
“A recent report offers fresh evidence that needle-exchange programs (NEPs) and opiate substitution therapy (OST) can reduce injection drug users' (IDUs) odds of contracting hepatitis C virus (HCV).”

Week Ending July 18, 2011

Glycyrrhizin as antiviral agent against Hepatitis C Virus
“Herbal plants have been used for centuries against different diseases including viral diseases and have become a major source of new compounds to treat bacterial and viral diseases. The present study was designed to study the antiviral effect of Glycyrrhizin (GL) against HCV.”

Health officials work to curb Mercer Co. hepatitis
“According to health officials, Mercer County, West Virginia now has the most per capita hepatitis B cases in the nation and ranks third for the number of hepatitis C infections.”

State Regulators: Florida Physician's Lax Infection Control Caused Hepatitis Outbreak
“State regulators have filed complaints against Carol Roberts, MD, alleging her lax infection control practices are the cause of a hepatitis C outbreak at her holistic medicine practice in Brandon, Fla., according to a St. Petersburg Times news report”

HIV, Hep C Drug Development Pipeline is “Robust,” Says Report
“Released ahead of the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Rome, the 2011 Pipeline Report “makes clear, medically, [that] the prospect for people with HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and tuberculosis (TB) to live long and healthy lives–and in the cases of HCV and TB, to be cured rapidly with safe, effective, oral combination therapy—[has] never been better,” write Polly Clayden of i–Base and Mark Harrington of TAG write.”

State files complaints against doctor involved in Brandon hepatitis outbreak
“The state has filed a pair of administrative complaints against a doctor for her role in a hepatitis C outbreak that occurred at a holistic medical clinic in Brandon.”

UPMC gets approval to restart living donor transplant programs
“UPMC said today that the federal agency overseeing transplants said it could restart its living donor kidney and liver transplant programs immediately. The transplant programs were shut down in early May after a bungled kidney transplant resulted in a kidney being transplanted that came from a donor who was infected with hepatitis C.”

Week Ending July 10, 2011

Medco's Specialty Pharmacy Improves Hepatitis C Patient Outcomes, Drives Down Costs by an Average $13,000 Per Patient
“Accredo Health Group Inc., the specialty pharmacy of Medco Health Solutions, Inc., has developed a unique ability to manage the costs of treating hepatitis C (HCV), while keeping patients adherent to a complex medication regimen for a sometimes lethal disease that can lead to liver cirrhosis and certain cancers. The introduction of two new HCV medications that hold tremendous promise but also add even a greater degree of complexity to treatment will require this "high touch" approach to help increase patient adherence.”

Survey Finds Support for Universal Hep C Testing
“Universal testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, as opposed to testing based on known risk factors, is the way to go, according to a survey of people attending general outpatient clinics in Seattle.”

Hepatitis C on the rise in northern Wisconsin
Wisconsin health officials want to learn why cases of Hepatitis C have increased dramatically among young adults in six north central counties.

“The state and local health departments are surveying adult Hepatitis C patients under 30 years old in the counties of Marathon, Wood, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, and Portage, to figure out why the overall number has gone up in recent years.”

Medivir's protease inhibitor TMC435 receives fast track designation from US FDA
“Medivir AB is an emerging research–based specialty pharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases announced that its investigational protease inhibitor TMC435 has received “Fast Track” designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) genotype–1 infection. This is based on TMC435’s potential to address unmet medical needs in the treatment of CHC infection compared to currently approved therapies.”

Johnson & Johnson Deal Puts Pharmasset Drug in Spotlight
“A just–announced collaboration with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is shining a light on Pharmasset’s (VRUS) progress in developing hepatitis C treatments, an area of drug research that’s getting a great deal of attention.”

Week Ending July 3, 2011

More Than Two-Thirds of Surveyed U.S. Clinicians Plan to Prescribe Incivek and Victrelis to Patients with Treatment-Naive Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1
However, Less Than Half of Surveyed Managed Care Organizations Plan To Provide Reimbursement for Either Agent for Use in Treatment Naive HCV1 Patients, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

“Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that more than two-thirds of surveyed U.S. clinicians plan to prescribe Vertex/Johnson & Johnson/Mitsubishi Tanabe’s Incivek and Merck/Roche’s Victrelis to patients with treatment-naive hepatitis C virus genotype 1 (HCV1), and half of surveyed physicians indicate they will add Incivek or Victrelis to an HCV1 patient’s existing pegylated-interferon(peg-IFN)/ribavirin regimen. In May 2011, Incivek and Victrelis were approved as treatments for hepatitis C virus by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Behind potent drug names, a complex mix of ingredients
Firms must navigate legal and linguistic hurdles for approval

“They are the public face of products that can take many years and hundreds of millions of dollars to develop. Over time, they often become household names: Think Prozac or Viagra. But drug names start out as alien words: random collections of syllables that can sometimes seem almost as mind-boggling as the complicated chemistry and biology that went into the development of the new medication.”

Programs may curb hepatitis C in drug users
(Reuters Health) – Programs that give injection drug users clean needles or safer drug substitutes may help cut their odds of contracting the liver infection hepatitis C, a new study suggests.

“The hepatitis C virus is passed through contact with infected blood. Health care workers are particularly vulnerable, as are people who get tattoos in unclean environments. But in the U.S., most of the roughly 18,000 new infections each year occur when people who inject opiates, like heroin, share tainted needles or syringes.”

Safe crack kits face challenges in use: study
“Victoria crack cocaine users have been frustrated by police deliberately smashing their pipes, which in many cases have been provided by local health officials, says a recently published study by addictions researchers.”

Fewer Complications With NAFLD Than Hepatitis C Virus
“Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis may have fewer liver–related complications and less hepatocellular cancer than patients with hepatitis C virus infection, but may have similar overall mortality, according to a study published online June 17 in Hepatology.”

Clinic battles silent killer
Spreads word about virus that affects the liver

“Dr. Syed Haque decided to join and volunteer his time to become the medical director of the Frederick County Hepatitis Clinic after hearing about the work they did over five years ago.”

Week Ending June 19, 2011

BioPlus' Hepatitis C Patient Support Program Improves Treatment Outcomes of New Triple Therapy
HepatitisRxAssist program from BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy helps patients secure needed medications, manage side effects, and adhere to their treatment plan for the best possible outcomes with the new protease inhibitor medications.

“BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy (BioPlus), one of the nation's leading specialty pharmacies, is announcing today enhancements to their hepatitis C patient support program called HepatitisRxAssist.”

A Common Cancer
“The liver is the second largest organ in the body, and performs a variety of functions that are vital to life. These include the filtering and processing of blood; bile production; producing proteins, glucose and cholesterol; storing fat-soluble vitamins, glycogen and iron; metabolising drugs, glucose and haemoglobin; and even a role in immunity.”

Coffee May Improve Virologic Response to Hep C Treatment
(HealthDay News) – “Patients receiving hepatitis C therapy who drink three or more cups of coffee per day are more likely to respond to treatment compared to nondrinkers, according to a study published the June issue of Gastroenterology.”

Mayor Gray Releases Annual Report Showing Progress on Addressing HIV/AIDS, STDs, Hepatitis and TB in DC
Report includes new study on injection drug use and expanded needle-exchange programs.

““Our newest update on the state of the HIV epidemic gives new inspiration to our efforts as One City – government and community working together – to fight HIV/AIDS in the District of Columbia. We are getting people diagnosed earlier and into care and treatment faster for their health, thereby reducing the chances that others will get infected,” said Mayor Gray. “I look forward to the recommendations of the Mayor’s Commission on HIV and AIDS to strengthen our response and do more to improve the health of District residents.””

Week Ending June 12, 2011

Scientists Develop First Genetically Humanized Mouse Model for Hepatitis C
“The first genetically humanized mouse model for hepatitis C has been created by scientists at Rockefeller University and The Scripps Research Institute.”

Patients Support Universal Screening for Hepatitis C
“In the United States, up to 70 percent of 2.9 million to 3.7 million people with hepatitis C (HCV) are unaware of their infection. Although universal screening might be a cost-effective way to identify infections, prevent morbidity, and reduce transmission, few efforts have been made to determine patient opinions about new approaches to screening.”

Researcher sets sights on helping at Frederick County Hepatitis Clinic
“Roger Ptak moved to Frederick in 1999 to pursue a career researching potential treatments for infectious diseases at the Southern Research Institute.”

Vertex and Alios BioPharma Announce Exclusive Worldwide Licensing Agreement for Two Nucleotide Drug Candidates, Broadening Vertex’s Efforts to Develop New Combinations of Medicines for Hepatitis C
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and Alios BioPharma, Inc. today announced an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement that will add two distinct nucleotide analogues to Vertex’s hepatitis C portfolio. The compounds, which were discovered by Alios and are known as ALS-2200 and ALS-2158, have shown in in vitro studies to be potent inhibitors of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) polymerase, an enzyme essential for replication of the virus. The addition of these compounds provides Vertex with multiple opportunities to develop potential, new, all-oral combination regimens for chronic hepatitis C. Vertex expects ALS-2200 and ALS-2158 to enter clinical development later this year.”

Noninvasive Tests Reduce Need for Liver Biopsies in Hep C
“The use of noninvasive alternatives to liver biopsies to assess liver disease in people with chronic hepatitis C is becoming increasingly more common and reliable in certain situations, according to an expert article published in the June issue of Hepatology reviewing two such diagnostic options: elastography and blood tests.”

Week Ending June 6, 2011

Primary Care Providers Can Treat HCV Effectively
“Hepatitis C virus infection can be effectively treated by primary care providers trained in the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes program, according to a study published online June 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

Substandard Hygiene Practices At Some VA Hospitals “Over the last 24 months 13,000 veterans have been advised to have a blood test to check for infections caused by lack of hygiene at VA hospitals in Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio and Florida. Reports about unsanitary conditions at VA hospitals has irked a significant number of veterans and politicians.”

UPMC Surgeon, Nurse Disciplined for Transplanting Kidney From Donor With Hepatitis C
“The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has disciplined a surgeon and a nurse after it discovered the professionals were involved in the transplant of a kidney from a donor infected with hepatitis C, according to a Reuters news report.”

Heavy Coffee Consumption Linked to Better Hep C Treatment Response
“Patients with advanced hepatitis C virus–related liver disease who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were three times more likely to respond to therapy with peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin at four time points than were patients who didn’t drink coffee, Neal David Freedman, Ph.D., and his colleagues reported in the June issue of Gastroenterology.”

Shorter Treatment for Acute Hep C Works in HIV-Coinfected MSM
“HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) diagnosed with acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are just as likely to clear their HCV with a 24-week course of treatment as those treated for a full 48 weeks, according to a report published online May 25 in AIDS.”

Anadys Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent Covering Setrobuvir (ANA598)
SAN DIEGO, June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — “Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced issuance of the U.S. patent covering setrobuvir (ANA598), the Company’s Direct-Acting Antiviral (DAA) in Phase IIb development for chronic hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). U.S. Patent No. 7,939,524, granted to Anadys by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, recognizes the Company's intellectual property rights to the composition of matter and methods of use for setrobuvir (ANA598) and related compounds.”

Zebrowski family plans hepatitis C benefit walk in late assemblyman's memory
NEW CITY – “It's common to hear about AIDS and HIV, breast and prostate cancer, but another deadly disease is rarely discussed. At least 12,000 people die every year from chronic liver disease linked to hepatitis C. New City resident and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski was one of them. He died in 2007 at age 61 of liver disease caused by hepatitis C. Now his family is starting a campaign to make the disease more well-known.”

CVS Caremark Enhances Hepatitis C Support Program to Help Patients Manage New Triple Therapy Regimen
WOONSOCKET, R.I., June 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — “CVS Caremark announced today that it is enhancing its hepatitis C patient support program following the recent FDA approval of two new add-on therapies for hepatitis C. While the new therapies offer improved response rates and a shorter treatment regimen for patients, they still result in uncomfortable and challenging side effects. The dedicated Hep C CareTeam educates patients about their disease and treatment regimen and supports them throughout therapy. The Team also researches and manages the benefits verification process, ensures on-time delivery of the medication, coordinates injection training for new patients and communicates proactively with the patient's physician.”

Right-to-die pioneer succumbs to liver cancer, hepatitis C at 83
“JACK Kevorkian, the pathologist whose 'suicide machine' thrust euthanasia into the national spotlight in the early 1990s, has died in Michigan. Dr Kevorkian passed away at a hospital, where he was being treated for liver problems. He was 83 years old. He was suffering from liver cancer and hepatitis C, and died from a pulmonary embolism, according to Detroit lawyer Geoffrey Fieger, who represented him at some trials in the 1990s.”

Paramedics infected by patients, union says
“More than one ambulance B.C. paramedic has contracted hepatitis C because of exposure to bodily fluids, the head of the ambulance union said. Brownwyn Barter, acting president of the Ambulance Paramedics of B.C., said she knows of several cases in which paramedics had contracted hepatitis C from exposure to bodily fluids. But Barter said she had no exact numbers.”

Week Ending May 30, 2011

Hepatitis C ‘Silent Epidemic’ in U.S. Needs More Funding, Researcher Says
“Hepatitis C, a disease that affects at least 5 million Americans, may be growing at a greater rate than reported as a “silent epidemic” of the virus spreads among younger people, according to a New York epidemiologist.”

Who Gets It First? Arrival of Direct Antiviral Agent Therapy for Hepatitis C Sparks Debate
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved two new DAAs, telaprevir and boceprevir, and with that clinicians must now decide who should be the first to receive this treatment. Discussion of this timely topic is now available in the June issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.”

Chambersburg medical office tells patients it re-used needles
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – “Urology Associates of Chambersburg sent a letter to many of its patients late last month to inform them of a serious problem. The letter stated that incorrect needles had been used for biopsy results.”

New Drugs Encouraging for African Americans with Hepatitis C
“Two new drugs just approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hepatitis C genotype 1 significantly improved the cure rates of patients. One of the drugs was extremely effective in treating African Americans.”

Viral Outbreaks in Dogs Yield Clues on Origins of Hepatitis C
“Hepatitis C is, in some ways, a high-profile disease. Worldwide, an estimated 200 million people are infected with the virus. Some of them will suffer cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death. Celebrities like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and “American Idol” have spoken publicly of their infections.”

Fair Pricing Coalition Says Vertex’s Incivek Price ‘Outrageous’
“The Fair Pricing Coalition is again sounding the alarm regarding the price of newly approved treatments for hepatitis C, this time questioning the cost of Vertex’s protease inhibitor Incivek (telaprevir). The advocacy group is concerned that Incivek’s price tag of $49,200 per 12-week course will adversely affect the ability of people with HCV to access the drug, while also setting an excessively unreasonable future price point for the many hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs in the pipeline.”

Week Ending May 22, 2011

FDA approves Incivek for hepatitis C
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Incivek (telaprevir) to treat certain adults with chronic hepatitis C infection. Incivek is used for patients who have either not received interferon-based drug therapy for their infection or who have not responded adequately to prior therapies. Incivek is approved for use with interferon therapy made up of peginterferon alfa and ribavirin.”

The Quotable Voice
“"I feel like I’m watching this epidemic unfold, and we aren’t really doing a lot in terms of prevention." Dr. Alfred DeMaria Jr., state epidemiologist with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in response to new hepatitis C reports showing a significant increase among Massachusetts teenagers and young adults.”

Resonance Health develops accurate fatty liver diagnostic test, seeks FDA approval
“Resonance Health has developed a fatty liver diagnostic test after positive results from a clinical study accurately assessed the severity of the disease.”

Blood Screening Test That Offers Immediate Viral Discrimination for Three Major Viruses Receives CE Mark
“Roche announced today that the cobas® TaqScreen MPX Test, version 2.0 for use on the cobas s 201 system is now commercially available in Europe.”

Many do not know they have Hepatitis C
“Barb Hopkins says she must have contracted Hepatitis C in the 1970s when she accidentally poked herself with a needle while working as a laboratory technician.”

Abbott Receives FDA Approval for Molecular Test for Hepatitis C
“Abbott announced today that it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market its RealTime PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test for measuring the viral load of hepatitis C (HCV), the leading cause of liver cancer in the United States.”

Merck's hepatitis C drug receives positive recommendation from EMA
“Healthcare giant Merck said Friday that Europe's regulatory drug agency has recommended the company's investigational medicine boceprevir, a treatment for the hepatitis C virus, for approval.”

New Mexico Telehealth Program Shows Promise for Chronic Illness Care
“A New Mexico-based program that uses telehealth technology and case-based learning helped increase the number of consultations provided for hepatitis C and other chronic diseases, according to a new Health Affairs study, CMIO reports (CMIO, 5/20).”

Medivir Announces Positive 48-week Interim Data from TMC435 Hepatitis C Phase 2b ASPIRE Study in Treatment-Experienced Genotype-1 Patients
“Medivir AB, the emerging research-based specialty pharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases, today announced results from the ASPIRE phase 2b study that evaluates the addition of once daily TMC435 to pegylated interferon and ribavirin in patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C whose prior treatment with pegylated-interferon (PegIFN) and ribavirin (RBV) was unsuccessful either because they relapsed, had a partial response or had a null response.”

Week Ending May 15, 2011

FDA approves boceprevir, the first new hepatitis C drug in 20 years
“The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved marketing of the Merck drug boceprevir, the first new drug for hepatitis C in 20 years. The agency is still considering approval of a similar drug, telaprevir, and is expected to approve it soon as well. Both drugs are members of a new class of hepatitis drugs called protease inhibitors, which block a key enzyme required by the virus to replicate. They are expected to convert hepatitis C from a debilitating disease into a manageable condition for the majority of people infected with the virus. Boceprevir, which will be marketed by Merck under the brand name Victrelis, is approved only for use in conjunction with the current hepatitis C drugs, peginterferon-alpha and ribavirin.”

Left untreated, Hep C can undermine your health
““How can I have hepatitis? My eyes aren’t yellow, my skin’s not yellow, my liver doesn’t hurt, I don’t have a fever. I don’t even remember a time when I did have all that.””

Patients Show Reduced Depression Rates After Locteron
“Biolex Therapeutics announced results demonstrating reduced rates of depression from its SELECT-2 Phase 2b trial of Locteron for hepatitis C treatment at the 46th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL).”

UPMC confirms patient got kidney from donor with Hepatitis C
“UPMC officials today confirmed a Tribune-Review report that a kidney transplant recipient in its living-donor program received an organ from a donor who had the Hepatitis C virus.”

DDW: Study Backs HCV Screens for All Boomers
“Screening all baby boomers for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection could save tens of thousands of lives at a very acceptable cost, a researcher said here.”

Taiwan institute develops Chinese medicine against hepatitis C
Taipei, May 11 (CNA) “A Taiwan research institute has successfully developed a drug that contains Chinese herbal extracts used for treating hepatitis C and it is now in phase II clinical trials, a Ministry of Economic Affairs official said Tuesday.”

County supervisors back plan to address unhealthy inmates
SAN BERNARDINO • “California parolees have a four–times greater rate of active tuberculosis and a nine to 10–times greater rate for Hepatitis C than the general public.”

Week Ending May 9, 2011

Needle exchanges help, too
“THE ROUGHLY three million Americans with hepatitis C had reason to cheer the Federal Drug Administration’s preliminary approval last month of two promising new drugs for treatment of the infectious liver disease.”

Strides in identifying and improving screening practices and treatment for liver diseases
Health outcomes explored at DDW 2011

“Research being presented at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) shows that screening individuals for hepatitis C based on age instead of conventional risk factors may help increase detection rates as well as prevent liver disease. Additionally, the rate of vaccination against viral hepatitis in patients with chronic liver disease and type 2 diabetes is relatively low, and these patients are at increased risk of severe liver injury once infected. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.”

Hepatitis C ‘epidemic’ hits Bay State
“Health officials are warning that Massachusetts is facing an "epidemic" of Hepatitis C virus infections among adolescents and young adults, particularly among those who are injection drug users.”

Hepatitis C in HIV-infected individuals: cure and control, right now
“For persons living with HIV, hepatitis C is a major public health problem that must be controlled and could be eliminated. The challenge arises because the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is prevalent among HIV-infected persons in most parts of the world, because HIV worsens all HCV outcomes, and because HCV may add additional individual economic and psychosocial complications to HIV disease.”

Hepatitis Awareness Month
“Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life–long infections which can lead to liver cancer. Millions of Americans are living with chronic viral hepatitis, and many do not know they are infected.” ”

Regent Park clinic offers hope to Hep C patients
“There's a good way of judging the success of a program to prepare people for the rigours of a hepatitis C treatment program and then help them get through it . . . Whether they keep showing up.”

Week Ending May 2, 2011

Merck’s Hepatitis C Drug Increases Cure Rates in Clinical Trial, FDA Says
Merck & Co.’s experimental hepatitis C drug cures more patients than current therapies, according to U.S. regulators considering whether to clear the first treatment for the liver disease in more than a decade.

Vertex’s hepatitis C drug aces review
Telaprevir cures more people more quickly than current options

A drug developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. cures more patients with the hepatitis C virus in less time than existing therapies, according to a briefing document filed yesterday by Food and Drug Administration staffers who reviewed the company’s application for approval.

Washington Watch: Stem Cell Research Gets Boost
In dual victories for the Obama administration, a federal appeals court ruled the National Institutes of Health can continue to fund embryonic stem cell research, and the Supreme Court rejected a request to expedite one of the lawsuits filed against the healthcare reform law.

Boehringer begins late-stage hep C trial
Boehringer Ingelheim has begun enrolling patients in North America for a phase III trial of its chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) candidate, which already has fast track designation from US regulators.

BI 201335 is an oral protease inhibitor and will be tested with standard–of–care in both treatment–naive and treatment–experienced patients with chronic genotype-1 HCV.

Severity of hepatitis C and HIV co-infection in mothers contribute to HCV transmission to child
New research shows that high maternal viral load and co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are the only risk factors associated with vertical transmission of the hepatitis C virus (HCV–VT). A variation in the infant's IL28B gene (CC) is associated independently with the spontaneous clearance of HCV genotype–1 among infected children. The status of IL28B in the mother or children did not increase risk of HCV–VT in this study. Findings are published in the May issue of Hepatology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Twice–weekly pegylated interferon improved early treatment responses in co-infected patients
Twice weekly dosing of pegylated interferon improved early response rates to hepatitis C therapy in a small study of co–infected HIV–positive patients, US investigators report in the online edition of AIDS.

Week Ending April 24, 2011


Vertex, Merck Step Up to the Public Stage With Hepatitis C Drugs This Week
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals is heading down the home stretch in its bid to transform treatment of hepatitis C, and this week the public will get an up-close look at the risks and benefits of its drug that could change the standard of care for millions of people.”

Asia’s problem with chronic hepatitis
“With over 500 million people on the globe afflicted with chronic hepatitis, it far outpaces either cancer or HIV worldwide. In fact, one in 12 people on the planet are chronically infected with either hepatitis B or C, causing the creation of the World Hepatitis Day 2008/2009 slogan, “Am I Number 12”.”

Idera Hep C drug faces setback
“Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has decided to delay launching its phase 2 study on a potential treatment for Hepatitis C after a toxicology study on rodents showed instances of atypical proliferation of a type of white blood cells, called lymphocytes. High levels of lymphocytes are generally associated with viral infections.”

Report: Thousands of VA dental patients should be tested
“A task force on April 21 recommended thousands of Dayton VA Medical Center patients be tested for exposure to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.”

A comparison of four fibrosis indexes in chronic HCV: Development of new fibrosis–cirrhosis index (FCI)
“Hepatitis C can lead to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. We compared readily available non-invasive fibrosis indexes for the fibrosis progression discrimination to find a better combination of existing non-invasive markers.”

Major Investment in Hep C research
“The Medical Research Council – University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) has received almost £2 million from the Medical Research Foundation, an independent registered charity established by the Medical Research Council (MRC).The award will fund the setting up of a clinical database of 10,000 patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) which it is hoped will help enable a UK-wide network of researchers to find new ways to tackle the deadly infection.”

Quest Diagnostics Launches Hepatitis C Virus Therapy Test Based on IL28B Gene Variants
“Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, today announced the availability of its AccuType® IL28B test for aiding in the prediction of patient response to peginterferon alpha-based therapy for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Quest Diagnostics is now offering the test to physicians and other healthcare providers in the U.S. and to pharmaceutical companies for use in clinical trials research.”

Week Ending April 18, 2011

BMS–790052/BMS–650032 Combo Cures Hepatitis C without Interferon
“In one of the most exciting studies presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver conference (EASL 2011) this month in Berlin, 2 new oral agents in combination with standard–of–care hepatitis C treatment showed remarkable results in people with chronic hepatitis C who had not responded to prior standard treatment.”

ChronTech Pharma, Transgene, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals to Collaborate on Prime–Boost Therapeutic Vaccination Against Hepatitis C Phase I study to assess safety and immunogenicity
“ChronTech Pharma AB has signed a collaboration agreement with Transgene S.A. and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to evaluate a novel therapeutic vaccination strategy against genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a phase I clinical study.”

Flu Shot Mix–Up Puts Kids at Risk for HIV, Hepatitis B
“A group of children who received flu shots at a Colorado clinic are now being tested for several infectious diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C after a mix–up that led vaccine syringes to be shared between patients, 9News.com reported.”

Risk factors associated with Hepatitis C among female substance users enrolled in community–based HIV prevention studies
“Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the most frequent chronic blood–borne infections in the United States. The epidemiology of HCV transmission is not completely understood, particularly in women and minorities.”

Denver's first legal needle exchange on horizon
“Three days a week, people pay a visit to a quaint red house at Lipan Street and West Eighth Avenue in the La Alma⁄Lincoln Park neighborhood.”

Week Ending April 11, 2011

Big picture of how interferon-induced genes launch antiviral defenses revealed
“When viruses attack, one molecule more than any other fights back. Interferon triggers the activation of more than 350 genes, and despite the obvious connection, the vast majority have never been tested for antiviral properties.”

Army veteran fears he was infected with hepatitis C at VA dental clinic
“Charles Johnson was a patient of dentist who did not follow sterilization guides. Charles Johnson already had endured his share of health problems, and then some: kidney cancer, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure and bad knees.”

Increased mortality rates seen in chronic hepatitis C patients with pre-cirrhotic advanced fibrosis
“A three-year follow-up study of patients in the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) trial revealed that increased mortality among patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C who received long-term peginterferon therapy was attributed to non-liver related causes and occurred primarily in patients with bridging fibrosis.”

Asian Ethnicity May Predict Hep B-Dominant Dual Infection
(HealthDay News) – “Asians who are infected with both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are more likely to have HBV-dominant disease, compared to dually infected non-Asians, according to a study published online March 21 in Hepatology.”

Hepatitis C, Alcohol Use and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Greatest Risk Factors for HCC
“Research suggests risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma may include hepatitis C virus, alcohol use and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.”

Boehringer Ingelheim to commence phase III trial of hepatitis C drug
“Boehringer Ingelheim has announced plans to move ahead with phase III clinical trials of its new hepatitis C treatment BI 201335.”

Week Ending April 3, 2011

New Data Shows 83% of Patients With Genotype 1 Hepatitis C, Who Have Previously Relapsed on Existing Standard of Care Treatments, Achieve a Cure With Investigational Agent Telaprevir[1]
“Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson* is today announcing, at the 46th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the results of the phase 3 REALIZE study with telaprevir, a direct-acting antiviral agent, which involved patients with genotype 1 hepatitis.\ C who have previously failed to respond to currently available treatments.”

Novartis first-in-class antiviral DEB025 achieved sustained viral response in 76% of patients with chronic hepatitis C, new phase II study shows
“Novartis announced today that a Phase II study with the first-in-class antiviral DEB025 (alisporivir) met its primary endpoint for achieving viral cure (24 weeks after stopping treatment) in 76% of patients with chronic hepatitis C[1]. The study involved nearly 300 previously untreated patients infected with the most common form of hepatitis C virus (HCV), the genotype 1 (G1)[1].”

Bristol-Myers' Compound Shows Higher Response Rate In Phase 2b Hepatitis C Study
“Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Saturday that a Phase IIb clinical trial showed that its investigational compound PEG-Interferon lambda and ribavirin achieved higher rates of rapid virologic response, and also complete early virologic response in certain genotypes than the standard regimen of PEG-Interferon alfa and ribavirin in treatment-naïve patients chronically infected with hepatitis C.”

Medivir: Week 24 Interim Results From TMC435 Hepatitis C Phase 2b ASPIRE Study Presented at EASL
“Medivir AB, the emerging research-based specialty pharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases, announces that their partner, Tibotec has presented the results of a planned Week 24 interim analysis of the phase 2b ASPIRE study for TMC435 in treatment experienced hepatitis C patients in a late-breaker session at the 46th Annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), Berlin, Germany.”

Abbott and Enanta Present Positive 12-Week Results and 3-Day Resistance Data From Phase 2 Study of ABT-450/r for Treatment of Hepatitis C
“Abbott and Enanta Pharmaceuticals today announced 12-week results from a Phase 2 study of ABT-450/r, an investigational, oral protease inhibitor being developed for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Study results show that 92 percent (22 of 24) of patients taking ABT-450/r once daily, combined with standard of care, achieved complete early virologic response (HCV RNA levels <25 IU/mL) at 12 weeks. Results were presented at the European Association for the Study of Liver Disease (EASL) annual meeting in Berlin.”

Merck, J&J’s New Hepatitis C Treatments Fetch $31,000 in France
“New hepatitis C drugs from Merck & Co. and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) are being sold in France for 22,000 euros ($31,271) and more, a precedent some doctors say may limit access after the medicines are approved throughout Europe.”

Cirrhosis and HCC Have Risen Dramatically in Hepatitis C Patients
“The burden of cirrhosis, hepatic decompensation, and hepatocellular carcinoma has risen dramatically during the past decade among patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection, Dr. Fasiha Kanwal and her colleagues reported in the April issue of Gastroenterology.”

Pharmasset Initiates Phase 2b ATOMIC Trial of PSI-7977 for Multiple HCV Genotypes
“Pharmasset, Inc. announced today that screening has begun in a Phase 2b study of PSI-7977, a nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV). The trial will evaluate PSI-7977 400mg QD with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in patients with HCV genotype 1, 4, 5 or 6 who have not been treated previously.”

Week Ending March 28, 2011

To Prevent the Donation of Infected Organs, Attention Turns to More Rapid Testing
“A kidney recipient in a New York City hospital recently contracted HIV from the transplanted organ, which came from a living donor, according to the New York State Department of Health. Although an initial screening had been performed on the donor, he or she apparently had unsafe sex after the test but before donating the kidney. The Department of Health is now recommending that hospitals test donors for HIV, as well as the hepatitis C and B viruses, within 14 days of donating an organ.”

Government of Canada Invests in Better Treatment for Hepatitis C
“Patients with Hepatitis C or liver cancer may soon benefit from a novel drug delivery system leading to a safer and more effective treatment, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada in Therapure Biopharma Inc.”

OraSure Technologies Submits CLIA Waiver Application For OraQuick(R) Hepatitis C Virus Rapid Test
“OraSure Technologies, Inc. announced that it has submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") an application for a waiver under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 ("CLIA") for its OraQuick(R) Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Rapid Antibody Test for use with venous whole blood and fingerstick whole blood specimens.”

Reyataz May Be Safe for HIV-Positive People With Severe Liver Disease
“People with HIV who have severe hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease (cirrhosis) may be able to safely take Reyataz (atazanavir) without worsening their liver condition, according to a study published online March 17 in the journal AIDS.”

Week Ending March 21, 2011

FDA Panel To Review Merck, Vertex Hepatitis Drugs In Late April
“A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel will review two hepatitis C drugs in development from Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc. in late April, as the companies race to compete against each other in a potentially lucrative market.”

Ten per cent of Pakistan’s population suffering from Hepatitis
KARACHI: “An estimated 10 per cent of Pakistan’s population of 160 million is suffering from Hepatitis, which shows high prevalence of the disease in the country. Five per cent of the troubled individuals have hepatitis C.”

In focus : Hepatitis B virus and co-infections
“According to the World Health Organization, there are at present 170 million people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), equivalent to 3 percent of the total world population.”

Hepatitis C transmission still high among injection drug users
“Efforts to control blood-borne infections have dramatically reduced HIV incidence among injection drug users (IDUs), but declines in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have been less substantial, prompting health officials to call for better prevention and treatment strategies.”

Outcomes Differ Among Hepatitis C-Related Vasculitides
(HealthDay News) – “Among patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)–related vasculitis, those with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) have a more severe and acute clinical presentation and a higher rate of clinical remission, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Arthritis Care & Research.”

iTherX Initiates Phase 1b Study of First-in-Class Hepatitis C Virus Entry Inhibitor ITX-5061
“TherX, a pharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering and developing a new class of therapies for hepatitis C, today announced that it has commenced patient recruitment in an open-label, proof-of-concept Phase 1b study of its lead compound ITX-5061 in liver transplant patients with hepatitis C virus infection (HCV). ITX-5061 represents a first-in-class compound that inhibits entry of the hepatitis C virus into liver cells.”

Fracture rates higher in patients with HIV
“Fracture rates in patients with HIV are higher than those in the general US population, investigators report in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. Rates increased between 2000-2002, and then remained broadly stable until the end of the study in 2008.”

Week Ending March 14, 2011

The Hepatitis lobby is in town
NEW YORK – “Some 30 people loosely affiliated with the same anti-poverty coalition that briefly blocked the Capitol’s State Street entrance last week are back — but this time instead of focusing on renewal of the so-called Millionaires’ tax, or surcharge on high income New Yorkers, these demonstrators are calling for better testing, detection and treatment of Hepatitis C among users of methadone clinics.”

Analysts jolted by Pharmasset's stellar data on combo hep C treatment
“In one of the worst kept secrets of the year, new data shows that Pharmasset's combo oral approach to hepatitis C triggered the complete elimination of the virus in 15 of 16 patients after only 14 days of treatment.”

Inovio Pharmaceuticals' Partner ChronTech Initiates Phase II Clinical Trial of Hepatitis C Virus DNA Vaccine Using Inovio's Electroporation Delivery Technology
“Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leader in the development of therapeutic and preventive vaccines against cancers and infectious diseases, announced today that its partner, ChronTech Pharma AB (formerly Tripep AB), has initiated a Phase IIb clinical study of its ChronVac-C® DNA vaccine for hepatitis C virus (HCV), delivered by Inovio's proprietary electroporation DNA vaccine delivery technology, in combination with standard of care.”

New Hepatitis C Data from Boehringer Ingelheim HCV Portfolio to Be Presented at EASL
“New data from the Boehringer Ingelheim hepatitis C virus (HCV) portfolio will be presented in oral scientific sessions at the International Liver CongressTM 2011, the 46th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), taking place 30 March-3 April in Berlin, Germany.”

New York Bill to Criminalize Reckless Infection of Patients
“New York Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski has introduced a bill that would criminalize the reckless infection of patients, according to a Journal News report.”

Gilead's hepatitis C therapy called successful
“Gilead Sciences Inc.'s four-drug combination eliminated hepatitis C virus in patients in an early-stage study, RBC Capital Markets LLC analysts said.”

Vertex Drug Promising in Hepatitis C Patients With HIV
“Substantially more HIV/hepatitis C virus co-infected patients taking the investigational HCV drug telaprevir achieved a rapid viral response (RVR) than those taking standard therapy alone, researchers reported at the 18th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston. RVR, defined as undetectable HCV after four weeks of treatment, can be an early indicator of eventually attaining a sustained viral response (SVR).”

Senate passes bill penalizing hepatitis carriers who risk transmission
“Members of the Tennessee Senate passed a bill which creates a $1,000 fine for someone who knowingly has hepatitis B or C and does not let potential partners know about the virus or chance of it transmitting.”

Interventional and combined approaches show promise in advanced liver Cancer
“Emerging interventional techniques appear promising for the treatment of hepatic tumours, even those at advanced stages. Attendees at the special focus session on transarterial procedures, taking place today at ECR, will find out just how far these techniques, as well as combined approaches, have gone.”

Week Ending February 28, 2011

Hepatitis C Patients' Access to Latest Antiviral Therapy Limited by Lack of Health Insurance
“Patients in the U.S. with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are twice as likely to not have health insurance coverage compared with those without the disease, says a new research.”

New vaccine technology shows promise against hepatitis C virus
“At present all over the world, near about 3 percent of the total population is infected by hepatitis C. In this disease, the virus enters in to the body and affects the liver. And later on it becomes dangerous and can further cause diseases like cirrhosis, liver cancer etc. And once it gets in to the human body, it becomes extremely dangerous. Unfortunately there was no vaccination for this virus earlier.”

Scripps Pioneers Individualized Medicine by Offering Genetic Testing to Hepatitis C Patients
Individualized Therapies Now Available for Drug Treatment of Hepatitis C

“Scripps Health is one of the first health systems in the United States to offer genetic testing as part of its care for hepatitis C patients planning to undergo drug treatment.”

Hep C figures drop
“A NEEDLE exchange programme for drug users has been credited for a sharp drop in hepatitis C cases in the region.”

New Drugs for Hepatitis C Virus
Medications nearing federal approval to treat "silent epidemic"

“There may be new hope for treating hepatitis C, a hidden disease that affects millions of boomers. Two new drugs nearing federal approval could nearly double the chance of curing those with the virus, which destroys the liver. In addition, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are studying whether all adults routinely should be screened for the disease, which kills 12,000 to 15,000 Americans each year.”

Treatment available locally for Hepatitis C
Canada – “There are hundreds, if not thousands of people suffering from Hepatitis C in Sarnia-Lambton, says a registered nurse who's started offering treatment options locally.”

The Conservative Case for Needle Exchange
“The specter of a ruinous budget shortfall has darkened the mood of the current Texas Legislature. In a climate with a mandate to slash spending, bills that seek new or increased funding – no matter how valid the need – seem doomed from the start.”

Children With Hepatitis C May Benefit From Ribavirin
“The combination of pegylated interferon (PEG) plus ribavirin is better than PEG plus placebo for treating children infected with hepatitis C virus, according to a study published in the February issue of Gastroenterology.”

Week Ending February 21, 2011

NVHR: Administration's 2012 Budget Proposal Represents 'Sea Change' in National Response to Viral Hepatitis Epidemic
“The Administration's 2012 budget proposal to increase federal funding for expanded state- and locally-based viral hepatitis surveillance, screening, and treatment by more than $5 million heralds a sea change in our nation's national strategy to respond to the viral hepatitis epidemic, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) said today.”

Medivir releases good phase IIb data for hepatitis C drug
“Swedish pharma company Medivir AB (STO: MVIR B) said today its candidate drug TMC435 for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype-1 has shown positive 48-week interim results in a phase IIb clinical trial dubbed Pillar.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb funds Asian hepatitis initiatives
“Bristol-Myers Squibb has provided funding to support a number of schemes dedicated to combating hepatitis B and C in China and India.”

Tibotec Starts Global Phase 3 Clinical Trials Studying TMC435 In Adults With Chronic Genotype 1 HCV
“Tibotec Pharmaceuticals announced that two global, registrational phase 3 trials are recruiting patients to examine TMC435, its investigational hepatitis C protease inhibitor, in treatment-naïve adults with chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV).”

Do you know about Hepatitis C in the African American Community?
“African Americans represent 12% of the U.S. population, but make up about 22% of the chronic Hepatitis C cases.”

GR Program Exchanges Needles To Reduce Disease
Clean Works Takes Dirty Needles Off The Streets Hands Out New Ones

“A non-profit organization in Grand Rapids is in the business of preventing disease by handing out syringes to drug addicts.”

Hepatitis C On Long Island a ‘Silent Epidemic’ ‘A new study shows seven out of ten Long Islanders with Hepatitis C don’t even know they are infected.”

New York: Patients Treated at Rockland Psychiatric Center Warned of Hepatitis Risk
“The State Department of Health is advising that some patients of Rockland Psychiatric Center be tested for blood-borne infections like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Last summer a patient at the center contracted hepatitis B, and DOH launched an investigation in cooperation with the state Office of Mental Health, which operates RPC.”

U.S. hepatitis C cases down sharply since 1980s
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – “New infections of the liver with hepatitis C virus are far less common these days in the U.S. compared to the early 1980s, a new government study finds.”

Some of L.A. County's most vulnerable vets to get badly needed care
“Project 60 aims to save lives of 60 ill and fragile vets by offering housing and support.”

Week Ending February 14, 2011

NVHR: Administration’s 2012 Budget Proposal Represents ‘Sea Change’ In National Response to Viral Hepatitis Epidemic
Budget Proposal Calls for $5 Million Increase For State-based Surveillance, Screening & Treatment Programs

Caring Ambassadors Program Launches Unique New DVD Series "Hepatitis C: Choices in Care"
OREGON CITY, OR – “The Caring Ambassadors Program (CAP) proudly announces the release of the new DVD series "Hepatitis C: Choices in Care — Distinctive Viewpoints on Choices for Your Hepatitis C Journey." The 2-disc set offers over nine hours of leading expert physician interviews, patient consultations, panel discussions, Power Point presentations and 30 minutes of Qi Gong exercises specifically geared towards people living with hepatitis C.”

FDA grants fast track designation to Inhibitex HCV drug
“The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated Inhibitex’s investigation of INX-08189, a potent guanosine nucleotide polymerase inhibitor for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C viral (HCV) infection, as a fast track development program.”

Eradication of Hepatitis-C essential
ISLAMABAD: “Speakers at the “First Annual HCV Management Symposium” on Friday called for well thought-out efforts at individual and institutional level to eradicate the growing threat of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) from the country.”

Contatus raises $20 million to fund trial of hepatitis C drug
“Conatus Pharmaceuticals said it raised $20 million from a group of venture capital funds to finance a Phase 2 clinical trial of the San Diego drug developer’s lead candidate, CTS-1027, which is being tested to treat hepatitis C.”

Senate hearing sought on Dayton VA dental clinic
DAYTON – “U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Friday called failures in infection control at the Dayton VA Medical Center’s dental clinic “an outrage” and requested a Senate hearing.”

Judge orders Vegas hepatitis doctor to hospital
LAS VEGAS (AP) – A Nevada judge is ordering the physician-clinic owner found mentally unfit for trial in a 2007 Las Vegas hepatitis C outbreak to surrender March 17 for evaluation at the state's mental hospital.

Single-use needle used on 53 patients at private clinic
AUSTRALIA – “Health authorities have launched an urgent investigation after more than 50 patients at a private radiology clinic were given blood tests using a needlestick device meant for single-patient use — potentially exposing them to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV infection.”

State Health Department, Nassau Hospital Notify Patients Of Possible Hepatitis C Exposure
ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 7, 2011) “Four patients treated at South Nassau Communities Hospital Pain Management Center will receive letters this week advising them to be tested for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections.”

Week Ending February 6, 2011

Vertex Urges CDC to Recommend Hep C Screening, To Nudge “Second Tsunami” of Patients
“If Vertex Pharmaceuticals gets its way in talks with U.S. public health officials, most people over 50 could soon get blood tests to screen for hepatitis C infections at the doctor’s office. If the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees this is a good idea, it could prompt another 1 million patients who don’t realize they are infected to come out of the woodwork and start clamoring for Vertex’s new hepatitis C drug over the next few years.”

The Daily Checkup: Liver cancer is on the rise but early screenings & treatment offer hope
“The specialist: Dr. James Park, on liver cancer and transplant
A transplant hepatologist and gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. James Park treats patients who have general and advanced liver diseases, which range from viral hepatitis to cirrhosis and liver cancer (before and after liver transplantation). A majority of his patients have cirrhosis and liver cancer, and many of these patients receive liver transplants.”

Baby Boomers At Risk For Hepatitis C
Doctors Say Many Have Been Carrying Virus For Years

“Tim Sardina, 56, has lived a colorful life, but the color started to fade in 1993. "I participated in a blood drive at work and they called me afterward and said ‘You need to see a doctor,’" said Sardina.”

SF task force backs legal intravenous drug center
“A San Francisco task force charged with devising strategies for reducing Hepatitis C infections has recommended making the city the first in the U.S. with a drop-in center where intravenous drug users can obtain needles and shoot up.”

Peregrine initiates Phase Ib HCV and HIV coinfection trial
“Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has announced the completion of enrollment in the company's Phase Ib dose escalation safety study of bavituximab in patients coinfected with chronic hepatitis C virus, or HCV, and HIV.”

Telaprevir Combo Yielded Sustained Virologic Response Rates Over 80%
“In patients with chronic hepatitis C, combining telaprevir with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa-2a or 2b yielded sustained virologic response rates of more than 80%, regardless of which type of interferon or which dosing regimen of telaprevir was used, Dr. Patrick Marcellin and his colleagues reported in the February issue of Gastroenterology.”

Medical marijuana business takes root
Caregivers step in to meet demand created by new state law

“When Ron Fousek started growing medical marijuana last February for a Portland man with HIV and hepatitis C, there were few people offering that service, he said.”

10,000 Hepatitis C patients could hold the key to better treatment
“Researchers at Barts and the London Medical School will be leading the London arm of a £2 million project to establish a database of 10,000 patients infected with hepatitis C.”

HIV-Positive Men Who Bareback Should Have More Frequent Hep C Testing
“A new study has found that 75 percent of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in HIV-positive men occurred in those with no history of injection drug use (IDU), mirroring other studies documenting a rise in cases of HCV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM) in Western Europe, Australia and urban cities in the United States.”

People With HIV Have Less Successful Hepatitis C Treatment And Poorer Outcomes Than People Without HIV
“A recent review of coinfection with HIV and hepatitis C has found that HIV causes hepatitis C to progress more quickly and that traditional therapies for hepatitis C are not as effective in people who have HIV. The review also noted that the prognosis was better for people who were taking antiretroviral therapy to treat their HIV than for people who were not.”

St. Louis VA center's hopes to resume surgeries next week after contamination worries
“Surgeries at St. Louis' Veterans Affairs medical center could resume next week after being abruptly halted over contamination concerns tied to stains and water spots found on some operating-room equipment, the center's director said Friday.”

Week Ending January 30, 2011

Wood Co. experiences rise in Hepatitis C
“The Wisconsin Division of Public Health is assisting the Wood County Health Department in investigating a recent increase in new Hepatitis C cases. Lincoln, Oneida, Portage, Marathon and Langlade counties also saw a spike in Hepatitis C infections.”

Study finds little decline in hepatitis C infections among injection drug users
Research suggests improvements in prevention and treatment efforts needed

“A recent 20-year study of injection drug users (IDUs) in Baltimore found a significant decline in new cases of HIV infection but only a slight decline in new cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The findings suggest that efforts to curb blood-borne transmission of these viral infections have had success but must be expanded against the highly transmissible HCV.”

Scientific finding aids anti-HCV therapy
“Taiwan's top research institute Academia Sinica announced new findings Friday on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that could help refine anti HCV therapies in the future.”

Spotting Gene Variants May Boost Hepatitis C Treatment
Research zeroes in on patients with protection from drug-induced anemia

(HealthDay News) – “Scientists have pinpointed two gene variants that protect hepatitis C patients from anemia caused by antiviral treatment.”

Anadys Initiates Dosing in Phase IIb Study of ANA598
“Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that dosing has begun in the Phase IIb study of ANA598 in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in hepatitis C patients.”

‘Silent killer’ stalks Poland
“Over 700,000 Poles are infected with the HCV virus, the cause of Hepatitis C, but only around 50,000 cases have been diagnosed and treated, say health experts.”

Week Ending January 24, 2011

New Hope for Hepatitis C, an Often Hidden Disease
“2011 is shaping up to be a landmark year for hepatitis C treatment. The Food and Drug Administration this summer could decide on whether to approve two drugs that are the first to directly target the hepatitis C virus (HCV) — Merck & Co.'s boceprevir and Vertex Pharmaceutical's telaprevir. Taken in combination with standard treatment, the drugs boost the cure rate for the most common form of the virus from 40 percent to as high as 75 percent. And they allow some patients to cut treatment time in half, lessening exposure to grueling side effects.”

Merck Says Hepatitis B Vaccine Safe; Unrelated to TG Swab Recall
“The hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis C powder produced by healthcare company Merck are safe and are not affected by the recall of potentially contaminated Triad Group alcohol swab products, according to the manufacturer.”

Two-Thirds of Hepatitis C Patients Are Baby Boomers
“And they – and other sufferers of the liver–destroying virus – may get the benefit of a drug cocktail akin to the one that has made a huge difference for people with the AIDS virus.”

HCV Positive Kidney Failure Patients Can Receive Kidneys from HCV Positive Donors
“Liver diseases secondary to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are an important cause of mortality and morbidity in kidney transplant recipients and dialysis patients.”

Oshawa residents cautioned about potential exposure from tattoos, piercings
DURHAM – “Clients of a tattooist-piercer who provided services in the south Oshawa area may have been exposed to non-sterile equipment and they are being urged to call the Durham Region health department.”

Hepatitis C Information Growing Among Veterans
BEXLEY, Ohio – “Hepatitis C is striking Vietnam-era veterans at a rate five times the general public and a local man is working to get the word out.”

Local Group Helping Find Cure For Hepatitis C
Drug Trials In SA Seeing Promising Results

SAN ANTONIO – “The battle against Hepatitis C has been a short one compared to most diseases, even AIDS. The disease didn't even have its own name until 1989. But the short battle is already taking a major step to ending.”

UMMS begins MBL-HCV1 Phase 2 trial to prevent hepatitis C virus infection in liver transplant patients “Following a successful Phase 1 study for safety, researchers at MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) today announced the beginning of a Phase 2 clinical trial testing the ability of a human monoclonal antibody they developed to prevent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection of a donor liver in transplant patients.”

Week Ending January 17, 2011

New drugs take aim at hepatitis C, spur debate on whether to test baby boomers
“There's new hope for an overlooked epidemic: Two powerful drugs are nearing the market that promise to help cure many more people of liver-attacking hepatitis C – even though most who have the simmering infection don't know it yet.”

Hepatitis C Cases Appearing in More Vietnam Veterans
“It is becoming a battle that doesn't end for Vietnam veterans. Medical writers researching VA medical centers claim that between 10 and 20 percent of veterans from the Vietnam era have hepatitis c.”

Britain Boosts Funds for Hepatitis C-Infected Patients
“On Monday, Britain's government announced it will provide more support for patients infected with hepatitis C virus through state health services in the 1970s and 1980s. Approximately £100 million to £130 million (US $159 million to $203 million) in additional support will be provided over the next five years for patients with serious liver disease linked to HCV infection through blood products or transfusions during the period.”

Bristol–Myers Squibb and Pharmasset to Collaborate for Proof of Concept Combination Study in Patients Chronically Infected with Hepatitis C
“Bristol–Myers Squibb Company and Pharmasset have announced that the companies have entered into a clinical collaboration agreement to evaluate the utility of BMS–790052, Bristol–Myers Squibb's NS5A replication complex inhibitor, in combination with PSI-7977, Pharmasset‘s nucleotide polymerase inhibitor, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV).”

Gregg Allman has lived the blues many times over
“Gregg Allman has earned the torment in his singing voice to a degree that‘s ridiculous even for a bluesman. Tragic deaths of family members and bandmates, drug and alcohol addiction and much more have seared his soul over 63 years.”

Louisiana Outlines Appointments To HIV, AIDS, And Hepatitis C Commission
“The HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C Commission serves as an advisory body to the governor and the Department of Health and Hospitals on AIDS, HIV and Hepatitis C related matters.”

Anemia during Hepatitis C Treatment Predicts Sustained Response to Pegylated Interferon/ribavirin
“Anemia is a common side effect of treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, due to red blood cell destruction (hemolytic anemia) caused by ribavirin and bone marrow suppression related to interferon.”

Peregrine Begins Phase II Trial Of Bavituximab In Chronic Hepatitis Cv
“Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it has initiated a mid-stage clinical trial in patients with previously untreated genotype-1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.”

Week Ending January 9, 2011

Boceprevir, Merck’s Investigational Oral Hepatitis C Protease Inhibitor, Receives FDA Priority Review And EMA Accelerated Assessment
“Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that regulatory applications for boceprevir, Merck's investigational oral hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor, were submitted in 2010 and have been accepted for expedited review in both the U.S. and the European Union.”

Many hepatitis C patients also have HIV
“Individuals who have hepatitis C (HCV) may benefit from HIV testing as well, as many of those with the infection also have the potentially deadly STD.”

Researchers find biomarker that predicts treatment outcomes for hepatitis C patients
“Following a positive hepatitis C test, there are several treatment options an individual can take. Now, a team of researchers has reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that they have found a biomarker that may predict the success of certain treatments.”

Livin' For Racin' Time
“Just talking to a family friend changed the meaning of racing for the Dale family forever. Donnie Dale has been racing for years and got the idea to give up his advertising on his car for the get tested Hepatitis C cause. His decision not only impacted his racing but the family as well. Susan Dale, Donnie's younger sister, stepped in to help but she wasn't sure he could race without a sponsor.”

Syringe-exchange programs can save money, lives
Legislature has easy way to cut spending in Texas

“As legislators prepare for what is sure to be an especially jam-packed, fun-filled session full of tales of budget woes and despair, there is still reason for hope.”

Steady Hepatitis C mortality rates disappoint in Australia
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – “In Australia in the past few years, death rates in patients with hepatitis C virus have not increased - but they haven't improved, either, researchers say.”

The long road to awareness
“A Wellington man is walking to raise awareness for a disease which is not often publicised in Australia.”

Week Ending January 3, 2011

FDA Prioritizes Hepatitis C
“The pharmaceutical industry has identified the tremendous gap between effective Hepatitis C treatment and adequacy of the currently approved Hepatitis C antiviral drugs. Improvements in training, research and drug development are getting closer to narrowing the gap in eliminating the Hepatitis C virus, but an equally intensive effort for approving medications is warranted.”

Mutations in the E2-PePHD region of hepatitis C virus genotype-3a and correlation with response to interferon and ribavirin combination therapy in Pakistani patients
“Hepatitis C is a major health problem affecting more than 200 million individuals in the world. Current treatment regimen consisting of interferon alpha and ribavirin does not always succeed in eliminating the virus completely from patient's body.”

Scripps Research Scientists Identify Key Interaction In Hepatitis C Virus
“Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a molecular interaction between a structural hepatitis C virus protein (HCV) and a protein critical to viral replication. This new finding strongly suggests a novel method of inhibiting the production of the virus and a potential new therapeutic target for hepatitis C drug development.”

Teen Donates Liver To Save Dad's Life
Family Had To Wait Two Years Before Surgery

BURLINGTON, Mass. – ”"Two days after Easter, I woke up in the morning or was woken by my wife. And I had no idea who she was, where I was," said Father Jack Fles, a minister from Maine.”

Seafood safety concerns for those with liver disease
“Last week (hallelujah!), there was progress in Washington, D.C. After a Senate vote in November edged us one step closer to better food safety in the U.S., the House of Representatives also approved the bill. The reform is long overdue.”

Week Ending December 26, 2010

Vertex announces modification of Phase II hepatitis C virus trial
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, a biotechnology company, has announced a modification of its Phase II clinical trial evaluating 12-week, response-guided regimens of its lead investigational hepatitis C virus, or HCV, protease inhibitor, telaprevir, in combination with its lead investigational HCV polymerase inhibitor, VX-222.”

Idera announces data of Phase 1 clinical trial of hepatitis C drug
“Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced the preliminary data from a 4-week dose-ranging Phase 1 clinical trial of IMO-2125 in combination with ribavirin in 60 treatment-naive patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus infection.”

Inverness hepatitis C victim sets up group to help fellow sufferers
“An Inverness man who contracted hepatitis C after taking drugs has set up a support group for fellow sufferers. Ronnie Elson caught the blood-borne virus which predominantly infects the cells of the liver after recreationally using drugs 20 years ago.”

HIV and Hepatitis B and C Incidence Rates in US Correctional Populations and High Risk Groups: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
“High Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence and high risk behaviors have been well documented within United States (US) correctional systems. However, uncertainty remains regarding the extent to which placing people in prison or jail increases their risk of HIV infection, and regarding which inmate populations experience an increased incidence of HIV.”

Week Ending December 19, 2010

Hepatitis an often-hidden, chronic disease
“Hepatitis is a term used to refer to inflammation of the liver.
There are many different causes of hepatitis, including alcohol use, diseases of the immune system and certain medications. Hepatitis is also caused by a number of viruses. Among the most common of these in the United States is hepatitis C infection.”

Condom Mobile brings HIV testing, education to doorsteps
“Meet Lisa Walker, the Condom Lady.
In public places, people call after the 40-year-old mother of four (and grandmother of two), “Hey, Condom Lady!” The less-acquainted ask Walker if she really is who folks say she is. Her boss wants to get her a T-shirt that reads, “Yes, I am the Condom Lady.””

Hepatitis C study: Drug fails
“SciClone Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that its drug candidate SCV-07 failed to meet its key goal of treating Hepatitis C in a midstage study, prompting a cancellation of the program.”

Hepatitis Experts Create Roadmap for Accelerating the Development of Targeted Therapies for Hepatitis
“To improve the care for individuals infected with the hepatitis C virus, a major health problem and a leading cause of chronic liver disease around the world, nearly 200 international hepatitis experts have taken an important step in escalating the introduction of a new class of targeted therapies for HCV – direct-acting antivirals (DAAs).”

Health Studies Cited for Transplant Cuts Put Under the Knife
Arizona Defends Its Changes to Medicaid

“Cash-strapped Arizona has drawn national scrutiny for its decision to drop Medicaid coverage for some organ transplants as the state tries to plug a $1 billion gap in its health-care budget for next year.”

Infectious diseases kill thousands: Ontario study
TORONTO – “Infectious diseases kill nearly 4,900 people in Ontario each year, and cause more than seven million illnesses, estimates a report released Tuesday.”

Amarillo Biosciences Announces Completion of Patient Enrollment in Phase 2 Hepatitis C Trial
“Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. today announced that enrollment in a Phase 2 clinical trial of 165 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection is now complete. The clinical trial is being conducted in Taiwan and funded by ABI's strategic partner, CytoPharm, Inc. The aim of the study is to reduce the virologic relapse rate for those patients who have successfully completed standard combination therapy for hepatitis C, which consists of injectable interferon alpha and Ribavirin.”

European recommendations issued on acute hepatitis C infection in patients with HIV
“European investigators and activists have developed recommendations for the management of acute hepatitis C infection in patients with HIV.”

The Voices of Hepatitis
“One in 20 people will come into contact with hepatitis virus at some point, but fortunately, only a small percentage develop a lasting case of the disease. Still, millions suffer from a chronic form of hepatitis.”

Pharmasset Starts Dosing In An Exploratory Study Of PSI-7977 For Chronic HCV
“Pharmasset, Inc. Tuesday said that dosing has started in an exploratory study of PSI-7977, a nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitor, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C or HCV.”

Week Ending December 12, 2010

Hepatitis C Experts Sought for FDA Advisory Committee
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to assist in its mission to protect and promote the public health, uses 49 committees and panels to obtain independent expert advice on scientific, technical, and policy matters.”

Safe Sharps Disposal Service Needed in Australia
Through the National Needle and Syringe Program the Australia Government hands out over 30,000,000 syringes annually, with no strict regulation of where they end up afterwards . Australians self-inject at home to treat diabetes, allergies, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, MS and other medical conditions.

‘A Perfect Match’ In More Ways Than One
ESSEX – “It was 27 years ago that Essex resident Paul Sullivan was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left him with severe injuries, most notably the loss of one arm.”

An Epidemic Hits Home
“If you were Meg Heckman's boss or colleague or casual acquaintance, you'd easily imagine her to be the picture of health: She is a runner and a skier. She is careful about what she eats. She has a sunny, can-do attitude and the stamina for long hours of hard work.”

1.8m Suffering From Hepatitis
KARACHI – “Health experts have expressed their serious concerns over the lack of proper care of liver patients in the country and said that more than 1.8 million people are suffering from Hepatitis B and C in the country.”

Hepatitis C Man Bit Aberdeen Security Guard
32-year-old jailed for 15 months over attack

“A man who bit an Aberdeen security guard and told him he would be infected with a disease has been jailed.”

SeraCare Introduces New HCV Seroconversion Panels
“SeraCare Life Sciences, a leading expert in human biologicals and the manufacturer of ACCURUN® controls, introduces two new, highly characterized HCV seroconversion panels designed to help diagnostic manufacturers and clinical laboratories effectively evaluate their HCV test systems.”

City Awarded Health-Related Grants
“The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services has received a $4.2 million, three-year grant from the California Department of Health Services to finance HIV and AIDS preventive health services in the city.”

Criminalizing Needles Is Ineffective
We need needle exchange programs to slow the spread of blood-borne infections – not more incarceration.

“If you could severely mitigate the spread of the HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis C, would you?”

Syringe Exchanges: A Vital Ounce of Prevention
“Health care reform is more than just a multibillion–dollar government expenditure, it is a fundamental shift in the way we think about health care. Instead of solely funding treatment programs, Congress is finally investing in prevention – and in a big way.”

Cape May County Hosts Advisory Group for Safe Injection Practices
“The Cape May County Department of Health (CMCDH) hosted the first meeting of the Cape May County Advisory Group for Safe Injection Practices on November 29th.”

Week Ending December 5, 2010

Hepatitis C Vaccine Elicits Immune Response in Some Patients
“A therapeutic vaccine against the hepatitis C virus was associated with a significantly higher sustained virologic response rate when added to standard-of-care treatment, and the findings justify further development of the vaccine, Dr. Paul Pockros reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.”

Number of reported cases of Hepatitis C on increase in county
Carlton County Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) sent out a notice Wednesday alerting local health care providers of an increase in reported chronic Hepatitis C cases in Carlton County.

“Carlton County Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) sent out a notice Wednesday alerting local health care providers of an increase in reported chronic Hepatitis C cases in Carlton County.”

Hepatitis C pouncing on Boomers at midlife
“Forget your assumptions about who gets hepatitis: The addicts. The inmates. The prostitutes. Hepatitis, especially hepatitis C, is very much a Baby Boomer's disease.”

B.C. cast wider net with cutting-edge HIV-AIDS testing
VANCOUVER – “A cutting-edge HIV-AIDS program in B.C. is now casting a much wider net as it tries to curb the spread of the potentially deadly disease.”

Arizona Budget Cuts Boot Patients From Transplant List
“Anger is growing in Arizona after the state cut critical funding to low-income transplant patients and left dozens of gravely ill people scrambling to raise the funds for the lifesaving procedures on their own.“

Lecture Brings Attention to Infection Control Risk Faced by Orthodontic Professionals
“Mary Govoni, CDA, RDH, MBA, past president of the American Dental Hygienists Association, spoke at the Greater New York Dental Society Meeting about infection control and the risks orthodontic and dental professionals face during procedures.”

HIV and Hepatitis C "ravaging" city: report
Intravenous drug users and homosexual men are most vulnerable

“Public health officials say they are extremely concerned about the rising number of cases of Hepatitis C and HIV on Montreal Island.”

On Eve of World Aids Day, Yee Recommits To Sterile Syringe Bill
SACRAMENTO – “On the eve of World AIDS Day, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) is hoping Governor-elect Jerry Brown (D-Oakland) will heed the advice of doctors, pharmacists, and AIDS prevention advocates, by signing legislation to allow pharmacies to sell sterile syringes to an adult without a prescription.”

Safe injection sites will open with or without permission
Minister wants to wait for Supreme Court ruling

“Addiction support groups are preparing to open safe-injection sites for drug addicts in Montreal and Quebec City next June, even if the province doesn't approve them.”

Week Ending November 28, 2010

A Reason to Give Thanks
“A month after receiving a long overdue liver transplant, a Montgomery man and his family are counting their blessings and giving thanks for his second chance t life.”

Rep. Hank Johnson regains his health, puts on 40 pounds
“Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) may be one of the few Americans this holiday season who is thrilled about gaining weight.”

Veterans should seek test for hepatitis C
“In 1969, I returned from duty in Vietnam. It was not until 1987, 18 years later, that symptoms of disease showed up and I was diagnosed with hepatitis C. The Veterans Administration confirmed the problem and subsequently treated me, unsuccessfully, for the disease.”

Roche has ended its agreement with Ligand Pharma after two years.
“The two firms signed a collaboration and license agreement to develop new treatments for hepatitis C viral infections in 2008, but Roche is exercising its right to terminate the agreement.”

Vertex submits application for hepatitis C drug
“Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said today that it has completed the submission of a New Drug Application that seeks regulatory approval for telaprevir, a hepatitis C drug candidate with the potential to generate billions of dollars in annual revenue.”

Unlicensed London tattoo parlour closed; clients warned to get hepatitis, HIV tests
LONDON, Ont. – “The Middlesex-London Health Unit is sending out a warning to people who got a tattoo or a body piercing in the basement of an east London, Ont., townhouse.”

USF wins federal grant for Hepatitis C treatments
“The University of South Florida is among 16 organizations nationally to win part of a $1.6 million in grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration.”

Week Ending November 21, 2010

HRSA Awards $1.6 Million to Improve Availability and Expansion of Hepatitis C (HCV) Treatment
“The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded $1.6 million in grants to support the Hepatitis C Treatment Expansion Initiative. The funds will aid organizations implementing effective, focused interventions designed to increase access to and completion of Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment for HIV-positive patients.”

Advances made in developing hepatitis C vaccine
“Scientists are zeroing in on a promising vaccine to treat hepatitis C, an international symposium was told Friday in Montreal.”

Medivir Gains as Early Study Shows Drug Kills Hepatitis C Virus
“Medivir AB, the drugmaker competing to develop a new hepatitis C medicine, rose the most in four months in Stockholm trading after its drug reduced the virus to undetectable levels in patients who failed earlier treatment.”

Don't fix budget at the cost of life
“When the Legislature eliminated coverage for some organ transplants under AHCCCS, it was a line on a budget. When a desperately ill man was denied a liver transplant, we saw the life-and-death stakes of that decision.”

Hepatitis C: is immunity on the horizon?
“More than 250,000 Canadians are infected with the highly infectious, chronic liver disease Hepatitis C, which is caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). The virus continues to spread in a variety of ways such as needle sharing, unsanitary tattooing, pedicures and manicures, and unprotected sex.”

OraSure honored for new rapid hepatitis C test
“One of the latest products from OraSure Technologies, a rapid test for hepatitis C, has been recognized by the magazine Popular Science as one of the top 100 technological innovations of the year.”

The Hepatitis C Virus Drug Market Will Nearly Triple by 2014 but, Thereafter, the Market Will Decline Substantially Through 2019 Due to Decreasing Disease Prevalence and the High Efficacy of New Treatments
“Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that, owing to the launch of several novel agents, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug market will more than triple from approximately $2 billion in 2009 to nearly $7.5 billion in 2014 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.”

Week Ending November 14, 2010

The severe problem of Hepatitis C in Egypt
“Egypt, known for the pyramids and the Sphinx, also has a much less desirable notable; it has the highest incidence rate of hepatitis C in the world.”

Poking holes in harm reduction bylaws
Abbotsford has some of the highest Hep C rates in B.C.

“Abbotsford's anti-harm reduction bylaw is a major factor driving the city's high Hepatitis C rates, according to experts.”

Combo Therapy With Ribavirin Superior in Children With Hep C
“In children and adolescents with the hepatitis C virus, the combination of peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin is effective for achieving sustained virologic response, according to a study published online Nov. 1 in Gastroenterology.”

Repeat Viral Testing of IVF Couples Not Needed: Study
“Running repeat tests for HIV and hepatitis B and C on couples before each cycle of in-vitro fertilization treatment is unnecessary, a new study suggests. The initial screening is enough if the couple reports no new risk factors, according to Drs. Mary Wingfield and Evelyn Cottell of the Merrion Fertility Clinic in Dublin.”

Phase III Results: Telaprevir, Boceprevir Improve HCV Cure Rates
“BOSTON – the forthcoming availability of the protease inhibitors telaprevir and boceprevir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C is likely to vastly improve virologic response rates and cut treatment times, but experts warn that such advancements need to be balanced against the "huge potential" for misuse of the agents and the need to manage side effects and monitor for antiviral resistance.”

Hepatitis C Substantially Impacts U.S. Work Productivity
Kantar Health Research Wins Presidential Poster of Distinction Award at 2010 AASLD Meeting

“Hepatitis C (HCV) places a burden on U.S. employers because of increased work productivity loss for those with the virus, according to the National Health and Wellness Survey, conducted by Kantar Health and presented recently in a poster at the 2010 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) annual meeting. The study also suggests that HCV places a substantial burden on the U.S. healthcare system because of an increased number of emergency room and physician visits.”

Hep C-infected haemophiliacs seek compensation
“Haemophiliacs infected by contaminated blood supplies more than 20 years ago say they are still trying to get financial support from the Federal Government.”

Week Ending November 7, 2010

Better Hepatitis C Surveillance Helps Public, CDC Finds
Health departments' program seems to provide more accurate, timely reporting

(HealthDay News) – “Enhanced surveillance of acute hepatitis C infections in the United States offers more timely and complete case reporting that provides greater benefits to public health, a new study concludes.”

Merck releases results from phase-3 studies of hepatitis C drug
“An investigative treatment for hepatitis C got strong results in patients who had failed previous treatments or who were new to treatment, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial program announced this week.”

Abbott and Enanta Present Positive Initial Results from Phase 2 Study of ABT-450/r for Treatment of Hepatitis C
“Abbott Park, Illinois, and Watertown, Massachusetts — Abbott and Enanta Pharmaceuticals today announced positive results from a Phase 2 study of ABT-450/r, an investigational, oral protease inhibitor being developed for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Initial 3-day and 4-week results suggest that ABT-450/r (ABT-450 with 100mg of ritonavir to support once-daily dosing) demonstrates potent antiviral activity in treatment-naïve adults.”

Bad Medicine: When Doctors Tip Off Wall Street
“How do a French doctor and a Connecticut hedge fund manager strike up a friendship that leads to the doctor being charged with passing along inside information about a hepatitis C drug trial?”

Growth Factor Drugs Bolster Compliance in Hepatitis C Therapy
“Having cirrhosis, diabetes, or substance use disorder increased the odds of treatment discontinuation in type 1 hepatitis C virus infection, whereas use of growth factor drugs correlated with treatment persistence, reported Dr. Lauren A. Beste and colleagues in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.”

Hepatitis C team in national final
“Staff treating hepatits C patients at Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital have been named one of the top three acute hospital teams nationwide.”

Vertex nearing goal on hepatitis C drug
“After years of developing what it hopes will be a blockbuster drug to treat the hepatitis C virus, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Cambridge is rapidly closing in on its goal: a product that could generate billions of dollars in annual revenue.”

Week Ending October 31, 2010

NVHR Welcomes Dr. Koh's Remarks at AASLD, But Warns that Viral Hepatitis Battle Demands Decisive National Leadership
“In a keynote address delivered yesterday afternoon on chronic viral hepatitis, one of the Administration's top health officials provided an outline of the forthcoming HHS "federal action plan" on viral hepatitis and pledged renewed federal leadership to translate this plan into reality. Dr. Howard Koh, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, made the remarks before thousands of liver health experts at the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) 61st annual meeting in Boston.”

Bristol-Myers, Gilead Seek AIDS Cocktail Success in Hepatitis C
“Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Gilead Sciences Inc., makers of the top-selling combination pills for AIDS, are trying to duplicate their success to combat another evasive virus, hepatitis C.”

Inhibitex Initiates Phase 1b Multiple Ascending Dose Trial of INX-189 in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C
Proof of Concept Study to Evaluate INX-189 as Monotherapy and in Combination with Ribavirin

“Inhibitex, Inc., announced today that it has initiated a Phase 1b, multiple ascending dose (MAD) clinical trial of INX-189, its nucleotide polymerase inhibitor in development for the treatment of chronic infections caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV).”

Anadys presents data of ANA598 for hepatitis C treatment at AASLD Annual Meeting
“Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANDS) today announced the ANA598 data to be presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) in Boston, MA.”

Biolex Presents at AASLD Meeting Significant Tolerability Advantages of Locteron®, Its Next-Generation Interferon for Hepatitis C
“Locteron Phase 2b Results Include Statistically Significant Reduction of Flu-Like Adverse Events Confirmed by Two Independent Reporting Methods; Locteron's Tolerability and Dosing Advantages and Strong Efficacy Make It a Highly Combinable Interferon for Use With Future Direct-Acting Anti-Viral Combinations.”

Race Affects Hepatitis C Recurrence After Liver Transplant: Study
Patients who receive organ from a white donor at higher risk, researchers find

(HealthDay News) – “Hepatitis C patients who receive a liver from a white donor have significantly more aggressive recurrent hepatitis than those who receive a liver from a black donor, researchers have found.”

Hepatitis C outbreak hits Becker, Mahnomen — Can be passed by sharing needles
“An upward trend in the number of Hepatitis C cases reported in Becker and Mahnomen counties this year has drawn the attention of the Minnesota Department of Health.”

Week-24 Interim Results From Phase 2b PILLAR Study to be Presented as Late-Breaker at AASLD
“Tibotec Pharmaceuticals (Tibotec) announced today the company will present the results of a Week-24 planned interim analysis of the phase 2 response-guided PILLAR study in treatment-naive patients with chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in Boston, MA., USA. The data will be presented as part of a late-breaker oral presentation on Monday, November 1.”

Boehringer Ingelheim Oral Hepatitis C Protease Inhibitor and Polymerase Inhibitor Combination Shows Rapid Viral Response without Use of Pegylated Interferon
“Boehringer Ingelheim announced results from a Phase Ib study, SOUND-C1, that showed the combination of two oral hepatitis C virus (HCV) compounds, the protease inhibitor BI 201335 and the polymerase inhibitor BI 207127, with ribavirin reduced viral load to the lower limit of quantifiable levels in HCV treatment-naïve patients.”

Week Ending October 17, 2010

QIAGEN and Abbott Enter Into Agreement on Molecular Tests for HIV, HCV and HPV
“QIAGEN and Abbott today announced that they have entered into an agreement that significantly strengthens both companies' testing menus for automated in-vitro diagnostic applications in the United States and Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed.”

Pioneer backs Mt Druitt Hospital syringe machine site
“ONE of Australia’s top drug experts has backed Mt Druitt Hospital’s syringe exchange. A coin-operated syringe machine and sharps disposal bin near the hospital entrance on Luxford Rd was installed by Sydney West Area Health Service (SWAHS) three months ago to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C.”

Liver diseases linked to environmental pollution
“Most liver complaints are linked to environmental pollution, an Egyptian liver specialist has claimed. “No one these days believe that liver diseases are related to bilharzia. On the other hand, many diseases, particularly those affecting the liver, are caused by the excessive use of insecticides inside and outside homes,” Dr. Muhammad Sirag Zakaria, vice-president of the European Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and hepato-gastrologist at Cairo University’s Qasr Medical College, told Arab News.”

Hope for liver cancer
“On New Year's Eve 2008, Bobby Potter was told he had liver cancer and six months to live. Bobby joined a study started by Doctor Melanie Thomas after she heard how a new treatment -- using two different drugs -- was helping kidney cancer.”

Alejandro Escovedo gets a new lease on life
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “After a very busy year with lots of shows, including a European tour and a two-month residency at the Continental Club in Austin, Texas singer/songwriter Alejandro Escovedo has a new album out, "Street Songs of Love." He's also on the road, getting ready for another European tour, and on Sunday, he plays "Mountain Stage."”

New Hepatitis C Drugs in the Works
Study Show 2 Experimental Drugs Are Able to Reduce Virus Levels in Blood

“The long wait for new drugs that cure hepatitis C virus (HCV) may soon be over.”

Experts Rally To Get European Commitment To Halting The Hepatitis B And C Epidemic
“In an unprecedented move to address the public health threat that viral hepatitis represents across the European Union (EU), leading physicians, scientists and patient groups demanded policy action[i] from EU officials at today's Summit Conference on Hepatitis B and C.”

When the gift of life is quite literal
Donate a liver or kidney to save one

“Darrell Herlinger was born prematurely and was hospitalized for several months. His care included multiple blood transfusions.”

Week Ending September 26, 2010

NVHR Welcomes Support of National Hepatitis C Advocacy Council In Fight to Address Chronic Viral Hepatitis
Washington, DC – “The National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) is pleased to welcome the National Hepatitis C Advocacy Council — the nation’s first community-based hepatitis C advocacy coalition — to its ranks and looks forward to building on the Council’s hard-fought successes in the public policy arena, NVHR announced today. Given the depth and breadth of NVHR’s reach, the Council will now unite with NVHR and allow the community to speak with one voice.”

Millions of Americans Are Living with Hidden Epidemics of Hepatitis B and C, Top Experts Warn
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 27, 2010 – “The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) issued a new report today calling for action to be taken to transform how the country deals with viral hepatitis – to help identify millions of Americans who know they are living with chronic forms of hepatitis B and C and to assure access to treatment for all who need it, to prevent even more Americans from becoming infected.”

Blacks are under-represented in clinical trials
“Clinical trials are common for new drugs that claim to treat chronic or even life-threatening illnesses. The success of those drugs depends on a diverse group of participants, but blacks are often under-represented.”

Liver Cancer and Hep C Patients
(HealthDay News) – “People with elevated hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and ALT levels and HCV genotype 1 appear to be at increased risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma, according to research published online Sept. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

Cleveland syringe exchange a point of pride: editorial
“When Cleveland started its syringe exchange program for drug addicts in 1995, there were fears that giving addicts new needles for old ones would send the wrong message and lure people to take up heroin and other injection drugs.”

Weight-Based Dosing Best for New HCV Drug
“When given in doses based on weight, an investigational prodrug of ribavirin had efficacy comparable to ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C but with less hemolytic anemia, researchers reported.”

NICE’s publishes 200th guidance to better tackle Hepatitis C
“The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has reached a milestone with the publication of its 200th technology appraisal guidance, on the use of peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C.”

Merck Significantly Expands its Patient Assistance Program Offerings to Provide Access to More Medicines for People in Need
“Today, Merck announced that it has significantly expanded the number of Merck medicines available through its Merck Helps(TM) patient assistance programs, which include the Merck Patient Assistance Program, the Merck Vaccine Patient Assistance Program, the ACT Program for Oncology and Hepatitis C medicines, and the SUPPORT(R) Program for HIV/AIDS medicines.”

Epocrates, CDC develop injection safety mobile program
“With more than a million healthcare professionals—including 40 percent of U.S. physicians—using Epocrates reference software, many of them on mobile devices, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company seems like a natural partner for a nationwide medical education program.”

Health Danger of Parties Past
“Most people think their wild-child past is just that—in the past. But some former party animals may be carrying a harmful reminder of their youth and not know it.”

Week Ending September 19, 2010

Partial Hep C Treatment Response Offers Health Benefits
“Even a partial response to hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy confers significant health benefits to people coinfected with both HIV and HCV, though not as much as a full response. These data were presented September 14 at the 50th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in Boston.””

AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc. Brings Telemedicine to Inmates of Illinois
AMD Global Telemedicine's General Exam Camera and Telephonic Stethoscope have been chosen for use in a correctional telemedicine pilot program to treat Illinois inmates of HIV and Hepatitis C “AMD Global Telemedicine, the world's leading supplier of telemedicine technology, devices, and application software for both dynamic encounters (live telemedicine) and deferred consultations, is happy to announce that its telemedicine solutions have been selected by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for a pilot program to treat inmates using telemedicine.”

Alcohol, diabetes, hepatitis up liver cancer risk: study
“Heavy alcohol use, diabetes, and viral hepatitis combine synergistically to raise the risk of developing liver cancer, according to a new report.”

Epocrates Smartphone App Helps CDC Educate Clinicians on Safe Injection Practices
SAN MATEO, Calif.–“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Epocrates, Inc. are educating healthcare professionals about safe injection practices conveniently and effectively on their smartphone devices. Epocrates’ EssentialPoints® mobile detailing program provides healthcare professionals with key lessons that can be applied directly to patient care.”

Bismarck marathoner comes back from illness to race
“About three years ago, Tim Lickteig of Bismarck was devastated when a blood test revealed that his fatigue and other symptoms were being caused by the hepatitis C virus.”

Court Victory Bittersweet for Hepatitis C Victim
LAS VEGAS – “The battle is far from over for Henry Chanin and his wife, Lorraine. Even though the couple was awarded $505 million in the valley's first hepatitis C civil lawsuit, it could be years before they see a penny. They say the case was never about money.”

Sadie Frost launches film competition on Hepatitis C
“Are you a budding filmmaker? Actors Sadie Frost and Tom Hardy have launched a national short film competition with the Hepatitis C Trust and Steel Mill Pictures.”

Obesity key cause of liver problem in India
“Obesity is contributing to steep rise in liver problems in the country, a liver transplant surgeon said Saturday.”

Week Ending September 12, 2010

Hepatitis C Spikes Among Young Heroin Users
BOSTON – “Heroin, a drug that claims nearly two lives in Massachusetts every day, killed a young woman in Cambridge late last month. She had just turned 18 when she overdosed alone in a bathroom.”

Schwarzenegger urged to sign sterile syringe bill
“Actor and author Christopher Kennedy Lawford, the cousin of California’s First Lady Maria Shriver and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, has called on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Los Angeles) to sign legislation to allow pharmacies to sell sterile syringes to adults.”

Sadie Frost launches film competition on Hepatitis C
“Are you a budding filmmaker? Actors Sadie Frost and Tom Hardy have launched a national short film competition with the Hepatitis C Trust and Steel Mill Pictures.”

For biotechs, no easy task
“Hepatitis C, a serious medical problem around the world, is also one of the most important disease targets for the state’s biotechnology industry.”

TV Show Delivers Hope for Hepatitis C
“As the number of people receiving a Hepatitis C diagnosis grows, media attention focusing on this virus has intensified. Education about the prevalence and potential severity of Hepatitis C is badly needed to raise awareness of this highly communicable and often asymptomatic (until it's too late) disease.”

Tattoos Linked to Rise in Hepatitis C
“FNC medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel argues there should be more government oversight over tattoo parlors.”

Medivir Presenting at the National Swedish Hepatitis Meeting - Clinical Update on TMC435 HCV-Protease Inhibitor
“Medivir AB, the biopharmaceutical company focused on infectious diseases caused by viruses, will today present a clinical update on its key drug, TMC435, a potential blockbuster therapy against Hepatitis C which is partnered with Tibotec, at the National Swedish Hepatitis Meeting.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb Hopes to Strengthen Hepatitis C Pipeline With Latest Buy
“Continuing its string of pearls philosophy, Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) has agreed to pay in cash for ZymoGenetics (ZGEN), which is developing a hepatitis C compound that was the focus of a collaboration between the two companies beginning early last year.”

Vertex hepatitis C drug helps the hard-to-treat
Vertex says telaprevir outperformed other drugs in patients not helped by prior HepC treatment

“Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that a late-stage clinical trial showed its hepatitis C drug candidate telaprevir proved effective for patients who hadn't been helped by other treatments.”

2006 Hepatitis C Awareness Telethon a Great Success
Hep C Aware and the Caring Ambassadors Hepatitis C Program (CAP-Hepatitis C) are pleased to report the overwhelming success of the 2006 Hepatitis C Awareness Telethon. Both CAP-Hepatitis C and Hep C Aware thank everyone who donated to the ongoing hepatitis C awareness campaign. We especially thank all the volunteers who spent their weekend working 15 hour days to help. KVMD employees you were fantastic! Thank you. 

If you missed the live show, it is available online at www.alternative.nu.  Donations are still being accepted. 

The live telecast on the local television station in Los Angeles was very popular with viewers. If you have local television contacts, please let us know. We hope to simulcast the event to a broader TV audience next year. 

Mark your calendars for October 2007 for next year's Hepatitis C Awareness Telethon!

Hepatitis C Testing Sites Interactive List Launched by CAP-Hepatitis C
The Caring Ambassadors Hepatitis C Program (CAP-Hepatitis C) has announced the official launch of the Hepatitis C Testing Sites List. This project is a state-based list of facilities that offer hepatitis C testing at a reduced cost, sliding scale, or free-of-charge. 

The Hepatitis C Testing Sites list is the only comprehensive list of its kind available in the U.S. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 75% of the 4 to 5 million American infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are unaware of their status. Hepatitis C counseling and testing are essential components of HCV control, prevention, and medical management, which is why CAP-Hepatitis C believes this new tool to be an important step forward in bringing the hepatitis C crisis under control. 

  • Donate1
  • Donate2
  • Donate3
  • Donate4
  • Donate6
  • Donate8
Give a gift in celebration
Give a gift in memory
Shop for Us


Follow Us on Facebook


HCV testing sites

Hepatitis C Press Releases

Hepatitis C News

Hepatitis C can show no symptoms until advanced liver damage develops.

register to attend this eventdownload flyer and map Join Us on FAcebook