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Hepatitis C

Daclatasvir + Asunaprevir Is Highly Effective Against Hepatitis C Genotype 1b

An all-oral combination of daclatasvir plus asunaprevir, without pegylated interferon or ribavirin, cured 87% of genotype 1b patients who were ineligible for or could not tolerate interferon and 81% of prior non-responders in a Japanese study published in the June 2014 edition of Hepatology.

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HCV Drug Development: Merck Acquires Idenix, FDA Lifts Sovaprevir Hold

Merck this week announced that it will purchase Idenix, a specialty biopharmaceutical company developing several hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug candidates. In related news, Achillion announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lifted a clinical hold on one of its drugs and a clinical trial of another is now underway.

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Studies Shed Light on Hepatitis C Virus Sexual Transmission among Gay Men

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission among HIV positive gay men has leveled off in Amsterdam -- one of the first cities with an outbreak of apparently sexually transmitted HCV infection -- and it continues to be rare among HIV negative men who have sex with men, according to recent studies. Other research looked at HCV sexual transmission among HIV positive and negative men in Switzerland, and at the association between HCV viral load in blood and semen.

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Medicare Will Cover Hepatitis C Screening for Baby Boomers and People at Risk

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this week that Medicare will cover hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening for adults born between 1945 and 1965, as well as others considered at risk, when requested by a primary care physician or other providers within a primary care setting.

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DDW 2014: Some Negative Predictive Factors Do Not Impair Response to Faldaprevir

Some factors traditionally associated with poorer response to interferon-based therapy for hepatitis C played little role in clinical trials of the HCV protease inhibitor faldaprevir, according to several studies presented at Digestive Disease Week this month in Chicago. HCV subtype 1a and prior treatment did not significantly worsen response, while HIV/HCV coinfection may be associated with better response.

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Hepatitis C Cascade Studies Show Gaps in Testing and Treatment

About half of people with hepatitis C are aware of their infection but less than 10% have been successfully treated and achieved sustained virological response, according to a meta-analysis presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2014). A related study found that among HIV/HCV coinfected people, 40% had been referred to hepatitis C care but only 4% were cured.

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DDW 2014: Sustained Response to Interferon Is Durable in Children with Hepatitis C

Children with hepatitis C treated with interferon-based therapy continued to show undetectable HCV viral load up to 7 years after achieving sustained virological response in the PEDS-C trial, researchers reported at Digestive Disease Week this month in Chicago.

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CROI 2014: How Fast Does Fibrosis Progress in Acute Hepatitis C Patients with and without HIV?

Liver disease was found to progress slowly in studies of both HIV negative people with newly acquired hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV/HCV coinfected people with acute HCV, according to a pair of studies presented at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

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DDW 2014: AbbVie Interferon-free Regimen Cures More than 90% of Hepatitis C Patients

AbbVie's all-oral "3D" regimen containing ABT-450, ombitasvir, and dasabuvir, used with or without ribavirin, led to sustained virological response in 90% to 100% of genotype 1a and 1b hepatitis C patients in the Phase 3 PEARL trials, according to data reported at the Digestive Disease Week (DDW 2014) meeting last week in Chicago and in the May 4 online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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