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Direct-acting Antivirals Could Dramatically Reduce Hepatitis C Transmission among IDUs

Widespread use of new direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) for hepatitis C could dramatically lower the rate of HCV transmission among people who inject drugs in 3 hard-hit cities, according to a math model described in the March 28, 2013, issue of Hepatology.

They assumed that interferon-free regimens would produce 90% sustained virological response (SVR) with 12 weeks of treatment and would be available by 2015 -- all "realistic scenarios" based on the latest research.alt

EASL 2013: Vaniprevir Boosts Interferon/Ribavirin Response Rate for Prior Non-Responders with Cirrhosis

The next-generation HCV protease inhibitor vaniprevir (MK-7009) increased post-treatment sustained response rates for previously treated genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C patients with liver cirrhosis when added to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin, researchers reported at the EASL International Liver Congress (EASL 2013) last month in Amsterdam.


EASL 2013: HCV Protease Inhibitor Simeprevir Pushes Triple Therapy Cure Rate Up to 80%

A second-generation HCV protease inhibitor, simeprevir (formerly TMC435), cured around 80% of previously untreated people with genotype 1 hepatitis C infection when combined with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, Michael Manns of the University of Hannover Medical School reported last week at the EASL International Liver Congress (EASL 2013) in Amsterdam. Overall, 91% of simeprevir-treated patients able to stop all treatment after 24 weeks.


AbbVie Interferon-free Hepatitis C Combo Gets FDA 'Breakthrough' Status

An all-oral regimen of 3 new direct-acting antiviral agents, with or without ribavirin, has been designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a "breakthrough therapy" for people with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C, AbbVie (formerly Abbott) announced this week.


EASL 2013: Daclatasvir plus Interferon Cures More Genotype 2/3 Hepatitis C Patients

Adding the HCV NS5A inhibitor daclatasvir to pegylated interferon and ribavirin for 12 or 16 weeks led to higher response rates for previously untreated people with genotype 2 or 3 hepatitis C, according to results from the COMMAND study reported last week at the EASL International Liver Congress(EASL 2013) in Amsterdam. People with genotype 3, however, did not respond as well as those with genotype 2.


CDC: Hepatitis C Testing Requires Both Antibody Screening and HCV RNA Follow-up

Half of all people who receive an initial hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody screening test never return for follow-up viral load testing to determine if they are still infected, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study. Confirmatory testing is needed to link people with chronic hepatitis C to appropriate care and treatment. "You may not remember what you did in the 60s and 70s," said CDC director Thomas Frieden,"but your liver does."


EASL 2013: Sofosbuvir + Interferon/Ribavirin Cures 90% of People with Hard-to-Treat HCV Genotypes

Adding the second-generation HCV polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir (formerly GS-7977) to pegylated interferon plus ribavirin led to a sustained response rate of 89% for treatment-naive patients with HCV genotype 1 in the NEUTRINO study, researchers reported at the EASL International Liver Congress(EASL 2013) last week in Amsterdam. High rates were also seen for the less common genotypes 4, 5 and 6.


EASL 2013: Compassionate Access to New Hepatitis C Drugs Is an 'Emergency' for European Patients

European governments must move quickly to ensure that compassionate use arrangements are put into place to allow access to new hepatitis C drugs for people with cirrhosis, advocates and doctors said at the EASL International Liver Congress (EASL 2013) in Amsterdam last week. However, clear differences in opinion emerged between patients and doctors regarding who should make decisions about acceptable levels of risk to patients during a symposium on compassionate use organized by the European Liver Patients Association.alt

EASL 2013: Daclatasvir + Asunaprevir + BMS-791352 Looks Promising as Interferon-free Combo

An all-oral regimen containing 3 next-generation antivirals taken for either 12 or 24 weeks produced sustained virological response in more than 90% of previously untreated genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C patients in a Phase 2a study, according to a late-breaking poster presentation at the EASL International Liver Congress(EASL 2013) in Amsterdam.