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Hepatitis C Treatment
HIVandHepatitis.com
Glecaprevir/Pibrentasvir Effective for Hepatitis C Patients with Severe Kidney Disease

A 2-drug pangenotypic regimen combining AbbVie's glecaprevir and pibrentasvir demonstrated a high sustained response rate for chronic hepatitis C patients with severe kidney impairment, according to results from the EXPEDITION-4 study presented at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting last month in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Curing Hepatitis C May Help Reduce Kidney Disease Progression

People who achieved sustained virological response to interferon-based hepatitis C treatment experienced significantly less decline in kidney function, especially if they had liver cirrhosis, according to study findings presented at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting last month in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Real-World Studies Show 8 Weeks of Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir Equals 12 Weeks for Many Patients

An 8-week course of treatment with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) is just as effective as a 12-week course for people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 without cirrhosis, including those with HIV/HCV coinfection, and could significantly reduce the cost of treatment if it was prescribed more widely, according to several large real-life cohort studies presented the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting last month in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Generic Sofosbuvir Underperforms in Real World, May Be Due to Suboptimal Regimens

Generic sofosbuvir-based combinations for hepatitis C may not perform as well as branded sofosbuvir-containing regimens, according to a study conducted in Qatar and presented at the recent 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting. People treated with generics were less likely to be cured and more likely to experience adverse events compared to people who received branded drugs. But the investigators speculate that the generics may have underperformed because many people treated were with suboptimal regimens, and believe this deserves further research.

HIVandHepatitis.com
6 Weeks of Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir Cures Genotype 1 Acute Hepatitis C

A short course of sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) taken for 6 weeks cured 100% of HIV-negative people with genotype 1 acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including those with high viral loads, according to study results presented at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Non-Adherence Is Most Important Risk Factor for Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir Failure

Research carried out by researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found that non-adherence was the strongest risk factor for treatment failure in people taking sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) to treat hepatitis C. The main reasons cited for non-adherence were failing to take medication as prescribed and hospitalization, according to a report at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting in Boston earlier this month.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Grazoprevir Triple Regimen Demonstrates High Cure Rates, Even for Hard-to-Treat Patients

A new 3-drug coformulation containing Merck's grazoprevir plus the investigational agents MK-3682 and ruzasvir was highly effective for people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1, 2, or 3, with sustained response rates of 86% to 100% depending on treatment duration, according to study results presented this month at the AASLD Liver Meeting in Boston. Related studies showed that the combination is also effective for retreating people who were not cured with a previous course of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs).

HIVandHepatitis.com
Primary Care Providers Can Effectively Treat Patients with Hepatitis C

Primary care providers such as non-specialist physicians and nurse practitioners can be quickly trained to provide direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for hepatitis C with a high level of treatment success and provider satisfaction, according to a presentation at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
8-Week Triple Combo Cures Most Patients with Genotype 1-6 Hepatitis C

A 3-drug regimen of sofosbuvir, velpatasvir, and voxilaprevir taken for 8 weeks demonstrated an overall sustained virological response rate of 95% for previously untreated patients with all hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes, while a 12-week regimen cured 96%-97% of people who experienced prior treatment failure on direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), according to a set of Phase 3 studies presented last week at the AASLD Liver Meeting in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
AbbVie Pangenotypic Combination Cures 98% or More Across HCV Genotypes

AbbVie’s combination of glecaprevir and pibrentasvir cured at least 98% of people with hepatitis C in 3 large clinical trials covering 5 out of 6 genotypes of the virus, and it is likely to receive marketing approval in the United States and European Union as the first ribavirin-free pangenotypic direct-acting antiviral combination next year, according to a report at the AASLD Liver Meeting last week in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
AbbVie Pangenotypic Combination Cures Almost All Hard-to-Treat People with HCV Genotype 3

AbbVie’s pangenotypic combination of glecaprevir and pibrentasvir cured almost all of the hardest-to-treat genotype 3 hepatitis C patients -- those with cirrhosis or previous treatment experience -- in a Phase 2 trial, and looks suitable for use as an 8-week regimen for HCV genotypes 2, 4,5 and 6, according to results of studies presented at the AASLD Liver Meeting last week in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
U.S. Veterans Health System and Australia Show Potential for Rapid Elimination of Hepatitis C

If sufficient money is available to pay for direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), the U.S. Veterans Health Administration could cure hepatitis C in the majority of veterans under its care within 3 years, and has already shown it has the capacity to start almost 7000 people on treatment in a single month, George Ioannou of the University of Washington in Seattle reported at the AASLD Liver Meeting last week in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Real-World Responses to HCV Treatment Among U.S. Veterans Match Stellar Clinical Trial Results

Direct-acting antiviral treatment is curing people of hepatitis C in real-world clinical practice at similar rates to those seen in clinical trials, and there do not seem to be major differences between drug regimens, according to results of a large population study presented this weekend at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Grazoprevir/Elbasvir + Sofosbuvir Highly Effective for Hard-to-Treat Genotype 3 Hepatitis C Patients

A triple regimen of grazoprevir/elbasvir (Zepatier) plus sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) without ribavirin cured 96% of previously untreated and 97% of treatment-experienced people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 3 and liver cirrhosis, matching rates seen in easier-to-treat patient groups, according to results from the C-ISLE study presented this week at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting in Boston.

HIV/HCV Coinfection
HIVandHepatitis.com
Hepatitis C Virus Infections Rising Among HIV+ Gay Men in San Diego

The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among HIV-positive men who have sex with men in San Diego has increased over the past 15 years, especially among men who do not inject drugs but use methamphetamine, according to a study presented at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston. Another study by the same research team found that post-treatment reinfection is also a concern in this population.

HIVandHepatitis.com
HIV/HCV Coinfected People See Good Cure Rates in Real-World Practice in Madrid

More than 90% of HIV-positive people treated with direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C -- including many with liver cirrhosis -- achieved sustained virological response and few discontinued treatment due to side effects, showing that real-world clinical practice can produce results as good as those seen in formal clinical trials, according to results from a Spanish study presented at the AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir Effective for HIV/HCV Coinfected People in Real-World Practice

The sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) coformulation used in real-world clinical practice produced good sustained virological response rates similar to those seen in clinical trials for HIV-positive people coinfected with hepatitis C, according to a pooled analysis presented at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston.

Liver Disease Progression
HIVandHepatitis.com
Portal Hypertension Less Likely to Improve After HCV Treatment When Fibrosis Is Severe

Curing hepatitis C infection moderately reduces portal hypertension, but has less impact for people with more severe liver stiffness due to fibrosis, Spanish researchers reported at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston. Portal hypertension -- high blood pressure in the portal vein supplying the liver -- is caused by scarring of the liver due to hepatitis C, which restricts the flow of blood through the liver. If portal hypertension persists, collateral blood vessels may form to relieve the pressure, leading to the development of varices (fragile distended veins) in the esophagus and stomach and subsequent risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Portal hypertension is a major risk factor for decompensation in people with cirrhosis.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Liver Cancer Risk Reduced After Hepatitis C Treatment, But Vigilance Needed

People who are cured of hepatitis C after a course of direct-acting antiviral treatment do not have a higher risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) -- and probably have a reduced risk -- according to studies from Italy and Canada presented at American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting this week in Boston.

Hepatitis B and D
HIVandHepatitis.com
GS-4774 Therapeutic Vaccine Shows Little Efficacy in People with Hepatitis B

An experimental immune-based therapy for chronic hepatitis B combined with tenofovir was safe and well-tolerated, but did not lead to greater reductions in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) than the antiviral alone, according to a study reported at the AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Nucleic Acid Polymers Reduce HBsAg Levels and Improve Control of Hepatitis B Virus

The nucleic acid polymers REP 2139 and REP 2165 led to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) reduction or clearance when combined with tenofovir and pegylated interferon, according to early results from a small study presented as a late-breaker at the AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston. This combination may potentially enable functional control of hepatitis B if confirmed in larger studies.

HIVandHepatitis.com
Tenofovir Alafenamide Approved for Hepatitis B, Works Well with Less Effect on Bones

Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), a new lower-dose pro-drug, matches the older tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) for antiviral activity against hepatitis B virus but causes less bone mineral loss, according to a report at the AASLD Liver Meeting this week in Boston. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week approved stand-alone TAF for hepatitis B treatment.

Other Liver Disease
HIVandHepatitis.com
Nivolumab Shows Good Safety and Promising Response Rates in Liver Cancer Study

Nivolumab (Opdivo), an antibody that blocks the PD-1 receptor and restores T-cell anti-tumor activity, appeared safe and was associated with disease control and stabilization in a Phase 1/2 study of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, according to late-breaking results from the CheckMate 040 study presented at the AASLD Liver Meeting last month in Boston.

HIVandHepatitis.com
When You Eat May Contribute to Fatty Liver Disease as Much as What You Eat

People who skip breakfast and eat late at night may have an elevated risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to research presented at the AASLD Liver Meeting this week in Boston. This suggests that meal timing and frequency of meals may be modifiable risk factors for fatty liver disease, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Policy, Advocacy, and Access
HIVandHepatitis.com
Birth Cohort Screening and Linkage to Hepatitis C Care Still Weak in U.S.

Grave weaknesses in hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening and linkage to care are still widespread in the United States and threaten to leave a large proportion of Baby Boomers with hepatitis C untreated, according to presentations at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Boston.