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Hepatitis C

FDA Approves Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) for Hepatitis C Genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first hepatitis C virus (HCV) polymerase inhibitor, sofosbuvir, to be marketed by Gilead Sciences under the brand name Sovaldi. Sofosbuvir was approved for use with ribavirin for people with HCV genotypes 2 or 3 -- making it the first-ever interferon-free hepatitis C treatment -- and in combination with pegylated interferon/ribavirin for people with harder-to-treat HCV genotypes 1 or 4.

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Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir Cures More than 90% of Genotype 1 Hepatitis C

Gilead Sciences this week announced sustained virological response rates from the Phase 3 ION trials testing a combination pill containing its newly approved HCV polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) plus the NS5A inhibitor ledipasvir. Across the 3 studies, sofosbuvir/ledipasvir taken for 8 or 12 weeks cured more than 90% of treatment-naive and treatment-experienced genotype 1 patients.

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AASLD 2013: Faldaprevir Triple Therapy Effective Across Patient Subgroups

The experimental hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor faldaprevir in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin was effective across a range of subgroups of patients with genotype 1 infection -- including prior relapsers and non-responders -- in the STARTVerso clinical trials program, according to research presented at the recent AASLD Liver Meeting in Washington, DC.

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Injection Drug Users Who Know They Have Hepatitis C Practice "Sero-Sharing"

People who inject drugs who know they are hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive are more likely to share syringes and injection equipment with others who are also infected, and less likely to do so with people who are HCV negative or unknown -- the equivalent of sexual "serosorting," according to a report in the December 15, 2013, Journal of Infectious Diseases.

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FDA Approves Simeprevir (Olysio) for Chronic Hepatitis C

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last Friday approved Janssen/Medivir's next-generation hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor simeprevir -- to be marketed under the brand name Olysio -- as an add-on to interferon-based therapy for the treatment of people with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C. It is not yet approved for use in interferon-free combinations.

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AASLD 2013: MK-5172 + Ribavirin Works Well for People with Hepatitis C Genotype 1b

An interferon-free regimen consisting of Merck's next-generation hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor MK-5172 plus ribavirin led to high rates of viral suppression and promising early cure rates for patients with HCV subtype 1b, according to a poster presented at the 64thAASLD Liver Meeting last month in Washington, DC.

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AASLD 2013: Aspirin and Cenicriviroc May Help Reduce Liver Fibrosis

Hepatitis C patients who took low-dose aspirin after liver transplantation experienced slower fibrosis progression, researchers reported at the AASLD Liver Meeting this month in Washington, DC. Two other studies showed that cenicriviroc -- a drug being developed for HIV treatment that blocks both CCR5 and CCR2 cell surface receptors -- had anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic activity in mice and rats.

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AASLD 2013: Sofosbuvir + Ribavirin Effective Against Hepatitis C Genotype 4

A dual oral regimen of sofosbuvir plus ribavirin taken for 24 weeks led to an early cure at 4 weeks post-treatment for difficult-to-treat patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 4, according to a poster presented at the 64th AASLD Liver Meeting last month in Washington, DC.

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AASLD 2013: Liver Meeting Ends with Hepatitis C Debrief and the Future of Treatment

The final day of AASLD Liver Meeting, recently held in Washington, DC, featured an overview of the status of new hepatitis C therapies, similarities between HCV and HIV, and a look towards the future of hepatitis C treatment. The development of next-generation HCV drugs has been remarkably rapid and experts agree that it may soon be possible to cure all patients with hepatitis C, but access is likely to be a challenge.

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