Newswise — Washington, DC, (October 31, 2011) – Studies reporting on the effectiveness of new therapies for chronic Hepatitis C virus are among the clinical science presented at the American College of Gastroenterology’s 76th Annual Scientific Meeting, where investigators also presented findings from an age-based risk assessment and screening intervention for Hepatitis C among Baby Boomers, patients aged 50-65, who saw a gastroenterologist for routine colon cancer screening.
With the recent introduction of new direct acting anti-viral therapies, physicians now have more options for treatment of chronic hepatitis, a chronic viral liver disease that infects more than 4 million Americans. Several studies of the new drug telaprevir in combination with the standard of care (pegylated interferon and ribavirin) looked at the drug’s effectiveness among populations of patients who, because of race or failure of previous treatment, are considered hard-to-treat.
Cyclophilin inhibition provides a high barrier to viral resistance in combination therapy
LONDON, Oct 31, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Biotica Technology Limited (Biotica), a privately-held biotechnology company that discovers and develops polyketide therapeutics, today announces the nomination of its drug candidate, BC556, a cyclophilin inhibitor to treat Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. BC556 offers many benefits over existing treatments and, in combination with drugs acting by other mechanisms, offers the potential of an interferon-free regimen for treatment of HCV infection.
BC556 is a highly potent inhibitor of HCV replication across viral genotypes, its pharmacokinetic profile is consistent with once-daily oral dosing and the compound exhibits a very high barrier to selection of viral resistance. As in HIV therapy, successful treatment of HCV is likely to involve combination of drugs acting by different mechanisms. BC556 benefits from reduced interaction with drug transporters and metabolizing enzymes responsible for drug-drug interactions, and therefore is a suitable compound for combining with other drugs in a treatment cocktail. BC556 was selected from Biotica’s new Sangamide class of cyclophilin inhibitors. Sangamides are analogs of the naturally-occurring polyketide Sanglifehrin A, produced using Biotica’s proprietary polyketide engineering technology.
New Analysis Questions Adequacy of Disinfection Regulations
Newswise — Washington, DC (October 31, 2011) – The risk of hepatitis transmission through non-single use instruments – such as nail files, nail brushes, finger bowls, foot basins, buffers, razors, clippers, and scissors – during nail salon and barbershop visits cannot be excluded, according to the results of a new report unveiled today at the American College of Gastroenterology’s (ACG) 76th Annual Scientific meeting in Washington, DC.
David A. Johnson, M.D., FACG of Eastern Virginia Medical School presented an abstract which analyzed a report developed by the Virginia Department of Health entitled, “Assessment of the Risk of Bloodborne Pathogen Transmission in Nail Salons and Barber Shops and Regulatory Requirements in Virginia.” Dr. Johnson’s assessment of the Virginia report indicated that there might be potential transmission of bloodborne pathogens (e.g., hepatitis B and C viruses) if non-single use instruments are not fully cleaned and disinfected according to the state regulations. The Virginia Department of Health found that the current Virginia regulations (dated September 1, 2011), which require intermediate-level disinfection for non-single use items in nail salons or barbershops, are sufficient in preventing bloodborne pathogens transmission, if there is full compliance.
People living with hepatitis C, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition – India (ITPC-India), and treatment activists at a press conference held recently in Delhi, questioned the silence maintained by the Indian Health Ministry on its response to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) which is emerging as a growing public health threat, and in the absence of effective prevention programmes, millions are at risk of this deadly infection.
According to the World Health Organization, hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of acute hepatitis and chronic liver disease. Globally, 3 to 4 million persons are newly infected each year. The Viral Hepatitis resolution adopted by the member states of the World Health Organisation on 23 January 2010 at the Sixty-third World Health Assembly, recognises Hepatitis C as a public health issue. The burden of the disease in India is expected to continue rising in the absence of prevention and harm reduction measures with vulnerable communities. According to the health organisations, there are two main obstacles to an effective HCV response in the country. First is the absence of prevention efforts; second is the lack of political will to treat HCV-among policymakers in the Health Ministry.
During 2002–2009, rates of newly diagnosed hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection increased from 65 to 113 cases per 100,000 population among persons aged 15–24 years in Massachusetts (1). Accordingly, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and CDC interviewed persons aged 18–24 years with HCV infection reported to MDPH during July 1–December 31, 2010, to elicit detailed information regarding demographic, clinical, and risk characteristics.
Of the 394 patients indentified, 193 (49%) had a valid telephone number; of those 193 patients, 101 (52%) did not answer after three call attempts, 19 (10%) were either in a drug treatment facility or incarcerated, 19 (10%) refused to participate, 31 (16%) agreed to participate but did not come on the scheduled interview day, and 23 (12%) completed the interview. An additional five persons aged 18–24 years with diagnosed HCV infection during July 1– December 31, 2010, but not reported to MDPH, were interviewed in a correctional facility, where they were incarcerated.
SAN DIEGO, Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today the termination of its Phase 2 clinical trial of CTS-1027 in HCV patients. This decision follows reports of laboratory abnormalities and adverse events in a subset of clinical trial participants.
The top priority of Conatus is patient safety, and the Company has made the decision to halt this study. Conatus is conducting a thorough review of the available data to assess any future development of the compound.
Researchers in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech have identified the first strains of hepatitis E virus from farmed rabbits in the United States. It is unknown whether the virus can spread from rabbits to humans.
Caitlin Cossaboom of Salisbury, Md., a second-year student in the combined Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Ph.D. program in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, is the first author of a publication entitled “Hepatitis E Virus in Rabbits, Virginia, USA” in the November issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
BOSTON – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will recommend on Oct. 25 that patients with diabetes receive immunization with the hepatitis B vaccine, following findings that U.S. adults with diabetes patients face a roughly twofold increased risk for hepatitis B infection.
Results from CDC investigations identified inadequately cleaned blood glucose monitors as a major route of hepatitis B virus transmission among patients with diabetes, Meredith L. Reilly, a CDC epidemiologist, said while presenting a poster at the meeting.