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Liver Meeting Highlights: New Hep C Drugs, NAFLD, Liver Cancer, Acetaminophen Toxicity, Benefits of Coffee

The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Liver Meeting is the premier annual U.S. conference on althepatology, covering all aspects of liver disease including viral hepatitis, fatty liver, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver transplantation. Kicking off the meeting on Saturday, AASLD President Guadalupe Garcia-Tsao offered a media overview of some highlights selected from the more than 2000 abstracts to be presented during the week.

AASLD 2012: High Rate of Response to Daclatasvir and Asunaprevir in Harder-to-treat Hep C Patients

Although an interferon-free combination of antiviral drugs developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to treat hepatitis C was highly effective in curing the infection in previous null responders with HCV genotype 1b infection, some new antiviral drugs may still need to be administered with interferon in harder-to-treat patients with genotype 1a, researchers reported at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Liver Meeting (AASLD 2012) in Boston.alt

Hepatitis C Incidence Rises among HIV+ Gay Men in Swiss Study

Sexually transmitted hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has increased dramatically over the past 13 years among gay and bisexual men in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study, even as it remained stable among heterosexuals and decreased among injection drug users, investigators reported in the November 2012 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.alt

AASLD 2012: Danoprevir and Mericitabine Work for Prior Non-responders, Hep C Patients with Cirrhosis

The experimental hepatitis C drugs danoprevir and mericitabine, with or without pegylated interferon and ribavirin, showed good safety and efficacy in previously treated patients, according to findings from the MATTERHORN study presented at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Liver Meeting this week in Boston. Another analysis from the same trial showed good outcomes for people with liver fibrosis.alt

Boceprevir Label Information Updated to Include Acute Hypersensitivity Risk

Package information for the recently approved HCV protease inhibitor boceprevir (Victrelis) was recently updated to include post-marketing data about the risk of serious hypersensitivity, or allergic reactions, among hepatitis C patients taking it as part of triple therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. People who experience hypersensitivity symptoms including itching, hives, swelling of the face, tongue, or throat, or trouble breathing or swallowing should seek prompt medical attention.alt

AASLD Liver Meeting Starts this Weekend in Boston

The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) annual Liver Meeting is underway, running November 9-13 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The AASLD meeting each fall and the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) International Liver Congress each spring are the premier events for presentation of the latest data on treatment for hepatitis B and C.alt

Vertex Announces Agreements to Develop Interferon-free VX-135 Regimens for Hepatitis C

Vertex Pharmaceuticals this week announced that it has made separate agreements with Janssen Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to evaluate all-oral regimens containing its HCV polymerase inhibitor VX-135 (also known as ALS-2200) for previously untreated genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C patients.alt

Merck Will Soon Start 2 New Trials of MK-5172 in Interferon-free Hepatitis C Regimens

Merck and Co. announced last week that it plans to start 2 new clinical trials to evaluate its investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor MK-5172 in all-oral regimens containing ribavirin with or without the company's early-stage NS5A inhibitor MK-8742. Both studies will enroll previously untreated genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C patients.alt

Bacterial Translocation Linked to Severe Liver Disease among HIV/HCV Coinfected People

HIV positive people with hepatitis C coinfection who had evidence of intestinal bacteria in their blood -- known as bacterial translocation -- had more advanced liver fibrosis and faster fibrosis progression, researchers reported in the August 28, 2012, advance edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. alt