Below is an excellent video on the
need to lift the federal ban on funding of needle exchange. The video
mainly addresses the need to prevent new HIV infections, but the vast
majority of new infections from sharing needles and works is hepatitis C,
and many believe that the outbreaks of acute hepatitis C among younger
injectors is the second wave or epidemic of hepatitis C.
your local communities to fund needle exchange and tell your
representatives that you want the ban lifted.
This year the laboratory at Central Montana Medical Center (Lewistown
MT ) 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.
The Hepatitis test is sent to the CMMC reference lab therefore if you
plan on having that test done try to set up an early appointment in
order to have the results back when you pick up your results at the
Health Fair on Saturday April 13th. When you have your blood
drawn for the Hepatitis C test we will be asking you to give us the name
of your health care provider and consent to send positive results to
that person and to the Central Montana Health District.
The Hepatitis C testing will only be offered this year so this is a
good time to get the testing done at a much reduced price. Join us at
the Community Health Fair on Saturday, April 13th from 8:00 to 11:00.
Patients with chronic hepatitis C are more likely to have
hypertension, in addition to insulin resistance and diabetes, and also
are at elevated risk for congestive heart failure, according to recent
Researchers evaluated data from 19,741 participants in the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2010. The
cohort included 173 patients with chronic HCV, with the remaining 19,568 classified as controls.
Without any peer-reviewed evidence or an adequate explanation of how it
works, scientists are rightly sceptical about a device that can diagnose
hepatitis C remotely
–At the moment, there’s no evidence to suggest C-Fast is any more effective than a divining rod–
To claim that “scientists are divided” over a new device that can “remotely detect hepatitis C” is akin to claiming that scientists are divided over homeopathy. Yet an article
that was tagged as “science” on the Guardian website (though it was
posted by Egypt correspondent Patrick Kingsley) did just this. The
original headline (which has now been changed) was describing C-Fast: a
device, supposedly based on bomb detection technology, that its
developer claims will “change chemistry, biochemistry, physics and
That kind of a claim by itself is enough to raise
eyebrows, but the description of the device, and the mention of bomb
detectors, reminded me of a story I had heard a few years ago on Newsnight.
While I don’t know whether the devices are the same, the similarities
are striking. The device discussed on Newsnight was marketed as a bomb
detector, and also seemed to operate like a divining rod; both devices
have an antenna that resembles a radio aerial, which supposedly swings
towards whatever it has been programmed to detect.
– Single injection induces multi-log repression of viral RNA, proteins, and viral DNA
– Long duration of effect lasting over 30 days
– Regulatory submissions planned for Q2 2013
Calif. — February 26, 2013 — Arrowhead Research Corporation (NASDAQ:
ARWR), a targeted therapeutics company, today announced the publication
of data demonstrating multi-log reductions in hepatitis B viral DNA and
proteins lasting over 30 days after a single injection in animal models.
This suggests that Arrowhead’s RNAi-based candidate ARC-520 has the
potential to treat chronic hepatitis B virus infection in a
fundamentally different manner, with the goal of achieving a functional
cure. The paper, entitled “Hepatocyte-targeted RNAi therapeutics for the
treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus infection,” by Wooddell et al,
was published online ahead of print in the journal Molecular Therapy(doi:10.1038/mt.2013.31).
In the publication, Arrowhead scientists describe the use of a novel
Dynamic PolyConjugate (DPC) technology to deliver small interfering RNAs
(siRNAs) designed against the hepatitis B virus (HBV). This DPC
technology incorporates a biodegradable peptide composed of naturally
occurring amino acids and a liver-targeted molecule that is co-injected
with a cholesterol-conjugated siRNA (chol-siRNA). In
proof-of-concept studies, utilization of this DPC to deliver chol-siRNA
targeting Factor 7 to non-human primates results in >99% knockdown
of target gene expression and >80% knockdown for over one month after
a single injection. Multi-dose studies in mice showed no diminution of
knockdown activity or toxicity upon repeated injection at therapeutic
doses. In transient and transgenic mouse models of HBV infection, a
single co-injection of DPC with chol-siRNA targeting HBV sequences
resulted in multi-log knockdown of HBV RNA, proteins and viral DNA with
long duration of effect.
“This publication is important because it speaks to a specific
product and a broader platform,” said Dr. Christopher Anzalone,
President and Chief Executive Officer. “These data suggest that ARC-520
could be a powerful therapy for chronic HBV infection, a disease with
350 million infected people worldwide and no cure. We are on schedule to
file with regulatory authorities next quarter to begin first-in-human
studies. During phase 1 we will be able to measure the drug’s ability to
knock down production of new infectious virus as well as viral
proteins, including s-antigen, e-antigen, and the core protein that
forms the capsid. The ability to substantially knock down these viral
proteins is what is unique about ARC-520 and what many in the field
believe will be necessary to revive the host immune response and
potentially provide a functional cure, which no other current therapy
can reliably do. More broadly, this paper reports on a delivery system
capable of extremely efficient gene silencing that can be used for a
variety disease targets.”
About Arrowhead Research Corporation
Arrowhead Research Corporation is a clinical stage targeted
therapeutics company with development programs in oncology, obesity, and
chronic hepatitis B virus infection. The company is leveraging its
platform technologies to design and develop peptide-drug conjugates
(PDCs) that specifically home to cell types of interest while sparing
off-target tissues, create targeted drugs based on the gene silencing
RNA interference (RNAi) mechanism, and work with partners to create
improved versions of traditional small molecule drugs.
Last week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) announced a new $1 million funding opportunity that supports rapid hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening and referral to care in non profit opioid treatment programs (OTPs)—programs that offer medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. Designed to address the high prevalence of HCV infection among injecting drug users (IDUs) in OTPs, the grant program advances one of the priorities of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, which calls for reducing viral hepatitis caused by drug-use behaviors. To more comprehensively address this disproportionate impact of HCV among IDUs, grantees under the new program will be required to integrate efforts to prevent new viral hepatitis infections, provide rapid HCV testing to identify hepatitis-infected persons, and to facilitate better linkages and referrals to HCV care and treatment.
Below is an excellent video report from CNN (below) about an
article appearing in Time Magazine on healthcare costs that hospitals
charge. It gives a sad personal story of what can happen to a man
who was hospitalized and the effect of the charges on the lives of his
Many of us who have been in this situation can attest to the
excessive costs (to put it mildly) associated with a hospital stay, but
for those who have not seen a hospital bill this will be a revelation
and it speaks to the need for comprehensive medical insurance
coverage and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act that will
provide coverage for those who can not afford medical insurance and will
hopefully drive down these excessive charges.
State lawmakers are working on a measure to create a Registry Board
for Medical Technicians. The action comes in the wake of last summer’s
outbreak of Hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital that left 32 patients
David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician,
allegedly injected himself with painkillers before reusing syringes on
patients, transmitting the Hepatitis C virus.