A study published in the Lancet expanded on the information released last year about RG7128 and danoprevir (twice daily) without interferon and ribavirin. The trial was a 14-day dosing study that showed remarkable declines in HCV RNA in some to undetectable levels and a good safety profile.
Poster presentation scheduled at AASLD November 2nd
Summary by C.D. Mazoff
A previous study of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) subjects showed statistically significant improvements in TFS (transplant free survival) for ELAD treatment compared with standard of care (SOC).
Three years following enrollment, survivors were examined again showing that the median survival of controls was 37 days, whereas median survival of ELAD treated subjects was at least 3 years. There was no evidence of tumor development in either group.
Dr. Millis lead author of the study commented, “This is the first time that a long term survival benefit has been demonstrated in subjects who recovered following treatment with ELAD. It is highly encouraging to note that those subjects that survive in the short term are able to go on to extended survival without any apparent increase in mortality or morbidity compared with subjects administered standard of care.”
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic have discovered that using a combination of 2 drugs – Avastin and Tarceva – currently being investigated to treat kidney cancer has had a surprising effect on liver tumors. “The combo doubled the length of survival, and nearly 30 percent of patients had significant tumor shrinkage.”
Scientists have identified a key enzyme (DGAT1) that is critical in the HCV lifecycle replication process. The hepatitis C virus uses this enzyme to make more copies of itself. The discovery will hopefully lead to new medications to treat hepatitis C. Here’s how it may work: The hepatitis C virus needs to constantly make more copies of itself to stay alive; by inhibiting the enzyme needed to replicate you could theoretically shut down the replication process and the virus would eventually die off and the body would be rid of HCV.
The high risk insurance pool program for people with pre-existing conditions is being rolled out, the link is a helpful document about the program, on page 10 are average premium and deductable rates by state. Currently people with hepatitis will have to first apply for an existing health insurance and receive a denial of coverage letter in order to qualify for these programs, but a few state managed programs lists hepatitis B as a pre-approved condition, so you can apply directly without the denial letter from an insurer. These are: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington.
HIV and Hepatitis.com Coverage of the
50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2010)
By Liz Highleyman
SUMMARY: An ongoing initiative to offer interferon-based therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection to injection drug users has demonstrated promising outcomes, according to a study presented at the recent 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2010) in Boston. Retention in the program has been good despite some patients continuing active drug use, and about half of those who underwent treatment have achieved sustained virological response (SVR).