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Hepatitis C

AASLD 2009: Boosted Narlaprevir plus Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin Leads to Rapid Viral Suppression in Genotype 1 Hepatitis C Patients

In the NEXT-1 study, presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD 2009) last week in Boston, the experimental HCV NS3 protease inhibitor narlaprevir (formerly SCH 900518), boosted with ritonavir, demonstrated potent antiviral activity in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin among treatment-naive patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C. Across the doses tested, 53% to 87% of narlaprevir recipients achieved undetectable HCV RNA by week 4. Nalraprevir/ritonavir demonstrated no unique or treatment-limiting adverse effects.

New HCV Infection Is Occurring among HIV Positive U.S. Men, ACTG Analysis Shows

The incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection may be increasing among HIV positive men in the U.S., according to an analysis of participants in several AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) studies presented this past weekend at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD 2009) in Boston. Only 25% reported injection drug use, suggesting that non-parenteral routes (for example, sexual transmission) play a significant role.

HCV Re-infection Is Common, Mainly Due to Injection Drug Use, among Canadian Prisoners Treated for Hepatitis C

More than 20% of current or former prisoners in Vancouver who were successfully treated for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection became re-infected with the virus, and about three-quarters of such re-infections were attributable to injection drug use, according to a study presented at the 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2009) this week in San Francisco.

Cochrane Review of Pegylated Interferon plus Ribavirin for Hepatitis C Treatment in People with HIV

Pegylated interferon (Pegasys or PegIntron) plus ribavirin is an appropriate standard of care for HIV-HCV coinfected patients, with sustained virological response rates of 26% for hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1 or 4 and 57% for genotyes 2 or 3, according to a meta-analysis by the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group published in the September 2009 American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Growing Epidemic of Hepatitis C among Gay and Bisexual Men in Amsterdam

In the July 31, 2009 issue of AIDS, researchers described an ongoing epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Amsterdam, finding that the rate of HCV infection was nearly 18% among HIV positive men compared with less than 1% among HIV negative men.

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Blood Cholesterol May Increase after Successful Hepatitis C Treatment

Blood levels of total and LDL cholesterol, which are typically lower among people with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, may revert to dangerously high levels after successful interferon-based treatment, according to a study published in the October 2009 issue of Hepatology.

Advocates Urge Consideration of Hepatitis C Treatment for Active Injection Drug Users

Advocates with the Treatment Action group (TAG) have successfully urged hepatology experts to change hepatitis C management guidelines to eliminate a recommendation that substance users should be abstinent from drugs or alcohol for 6 months before they are eligible for treatment.

Pharmasset Selects Investigational HCV Polymerase Inhibitor PSI-879 for Preclinical Development

Pharmasset, Inc. recently announced that it has chosen its experimental hepatitis C virus (HCV) polymerase inhibitor PSI-352879 (or PSI-879 for short) -- a purine nucleotide analog -- as a candidate for further preclinical development. PSI-879, as well as the company's other investigational nucleoside/nucleotide analogs, may potentially be suitable for use in combination regimens with other directly-targeted oral anti-HCV drugs now in the pipeline.

Statins May Increase Antiviral Activity of Hepatitis C Therapies and Delay Development of Resistance

Statin drugs, typically used to manage high cholesterol, reduced hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication and increased the activity of interferon and directly-targeted anti-HCV agents in laboratory studies, and prevented development of resistance, according to a report in the July 2009 issue of Hepatology.

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