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Hepatitis C

FDA Approves Gilead's Epclusa Combo Pill for All Hepatitis C Genotypes

On June 28 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gilead Sciences Epclusa, a new once-daily combination pill containing sofosbuvir and velpatasvir, for the treatment of adults with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1 through 6 -- the first approved oral pangenotypic regimen. While it is more effective against more types of HCV, Epclusa will cost less than most earlier interferon-free direct-acting antiviral regimens.

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Hepatitis C Antigen Testing Could Eliminate Need for 2-Step HCV Testing

Testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) core antigen could eventually replace the current 2-step procedure for diagnosing chronic hepatitis C infection in lower- and middle-income countries, speeding up access to treatment and improving retention in care, a systematic review designed to inform World Health Organization hepatitis C testing guidelines has found.

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Hepatitis C Associated with Increased Risk of Head and Neck Cancers

Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is associated with an increased risk of head and neck cancers, U.S. investigators reported recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The risk of certain cancers was especially high for patients who were also infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). Overall, hepatitis C was associated with an almost 3-fold increase in the risk of head and neck cancers.

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Successful Hepatitis C Treatment Reduces Portal Hypertension

Direct-acting antiviral therapy that produces a sustained virological response can lead to reduction in portal vein pressure, which causes some of the most serious complications of cirrhosis, according to a report in the May 26 online edition of the Journal of Hepatology. However, the researchers cautioned, reversal of portal hypertension is less likely if liver damage is too advanced, providing an argument for earlier treatment.

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EASL 2016: Grazoprevir/ Elbasvir Superior to Sofosbuvir Plus Pegylated Interferon

New research has demonstrated the clear superiority of an oral combination of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) over a regimen that combines a DAA with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Results from the C-EDGE Head-to-Head study were presented at the recent EASL International Liver Congress in Barcelona.

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World Health Assembly Adopts Strategies for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and STIs

The 194 member states participating in the 69th World Health Assembly, which governs the World Health Organization (WHO) in late May unanimously approved the adoption of WHO's draft global health sector strategies for management of HIV, viral hepatitis, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) through the year 2021.

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DDW 2016: ABT-493 + ABT-530 Cures Most Hepatitis C Patients in SURVEYOR Studies

A coformulation of AbbVie's experimental next-generation direct-acting antiviral agents ABT-493 and ABT-530 was well-tolerated and led to sustained virological response in 97% or more of patients with all hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in a set of studies reported this week at the 2016 Digestive Disease Week meeting in San Diego.

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DDW 2016: Modern DAA Regimens Cost Less Per Cure than Older Hepatitis C Treatments

The cost of treating chronic hepatitis C with sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) with or without ribavirin is lower than the cost of prior interferon-based therapy with first-generation direct-acting antivirals, in part because the newer regimen is well-tolerated and requires less management of side effects, according to a Kaiser Permanente study presented at Digestive Disease Week 2016 last month in San Diego.

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DDW 2016: Sofosbuvir/ Velpatasvir Produces High Hepatitis C Cure Rates in ASTRAL Trials

A coformulation of Gilead Science's sofosbuvir and its investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS5A inhibitor velpatasvir taken for 12 weeks produced sustained virological response in 95% to 99% of participants across HCV genotypes and led to improvements in patient-reported outcomes, according to a pair of studies presented at the 2016 Digestive Disease Week meeting this week in San Diego.

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