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Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that infects the liver, where it causes significant inflammation, damage and disruption of normal liver function. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, around 3 to 4 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C every year.

The hepatitis C virus is usually transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected individual and, most commonly, people catch it through sharing contaminated needles when injecting illegal drugs.

Hepatitis C infection is categorized into an acute and a chronic stage. The acute phase describes the first 6 months of infection when there are not necessarily any symptoms. Around one quarter of people manage to clear the infection during this stage before disease progresses to the chronic stage.

People who go on to develop chronic hepatitis C may develop jaundice which turns the skin and whites of the eyes yellow. This is caused by the build-up of a yellow-colored substance in the blood called bilirubin that would usually be broken down by the liver if it was healthy. Chronic infection may eventually cause fibrosis and scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver, liver cancer or end stage liver failure.

Hepatitis C can be treated with antiviral medications that that are designed to disrupt the multiplication of virus particles inside the body and prevent liver damage.
Ascletis receives TFDA approval to begin Phase II trial of interferon-free HCV regimen

Ascletis receives TFDA approval to begin Phase II trial of interferon-free HCV regimen

Ascletis today announced it received the approval from the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) to start phase II clinical trial for its all-oral interferon (IFN)-free regimen to treat chronic hepatitis C (CHC). [More]
Yale study identifies new barrier to caring for chronic hepatitis C patients

Yale study identifies new barrier to caring for chronic hepatitis C patients

Nearly one in four patients with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) are denied initial approval for a drug therapy that treats the most common strain of the infection, according to a Yale School of Medicine study. [More]
Benitec Biopharma announces closing of U.S. initial public offering of ADSs

Benitec Biopharma announces closing of U.S. initial public offering of ADSs

Benitec Biopharma Limited, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, is pleased to announce the closing of its U.S. initial public offering of 1,500,000 American Depositary Shares (ADSs), representing 30,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares of Benitec, together with warrants to purchase 500,000 ADSs, representing 10,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares. [More]
New data shows liver cancer has significantly increased in Queensland since the mid-90s

New data shows liver cancer has significantly increased in Queensland since the mid-90s

Incidence rates of the most common type of liver cancer have significantly increased in Queensland since the mid-90s, new data shows. [More]
Discovery allows study of naturally occurring forms of HCV in the lab

Discovery allows study of naturally occurring forms of HCV in the lab

Worldwide, 185 million people have chronic hepatitis C. Since the late 1980s, when scientists discovered the virus that causes the infection, they have struggled to find ways to grow it in human cells in the lab -- an essential part of learning how the virus works and developing new effective treatments. [More]
Advanced liver damage in hepatitis C patients grossly underestimated and underdiagnosed

Advanced liver damage in hepatitis C patients grossly underestimated and underdiagnosed

The number of hepatitis C patients suffering from advanced liver damage may be grossly underestimated and underdiagnosed, according to a study led by researchers at Henry Ford Health System and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [More]
Benitec prices initial public offering of 1,500,000 American Depositary Shares

Benitec prices initial public offering of 1,500,000 American Depositary Shares

Benitec Biopharma Limited, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, is pleased to announce the pricing of its U.S. initial public offering of 1,500,000 American Depositary Shares (ADSs), representing 30,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares of Benitec and warrants to purchase 500,000 ADSs, representing 10,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares, at a price of US$9.21 per ADS and US$0.01 per warrant. [More]
Omeros reports additional positive data from OMS721 Phase 2 trial for treatment of thrombotic microangiopathies

Omeros reports additional positive data from OMS721 Phase 2 trial for treatment of thrombotic microangiopathies

Omeros Corporation today announced additional positive data in the company's Phase 2 clinical trial of OMS721 for the treatment of thrombotic microangiopathies (TMAs). TMAs are a family of rare, debilitating and life-threatening disorders characterized by excessive thrombi (clots) – aggregations of platelets – in the microcirculation of the body's organs, most commonly the kidney and brain. [More]
Reducing amyloid fibril levels in semen may help reduce transmission of HIV

Reducing amyloid fibril levels in semen may help reduce transmission of HIV

There may be two new ways to fight AIDS -- using a heat shock protein or a small molecule - to attack fibrils in semen associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during the initial phases of infection, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. [More]
Molecular tweezer blocks HIV, breaks up proteins in semen that boost infection

Molecular tweezer blocks HIV, breaks up proteins in semen that boost infection

An unprecedented potential "molecular tweezer" called CLR01, reported in the journal eLife, not only blocks HIV and other sexually transmitted viruses, but also breaks up proteins in semen that boost infection. [More]
NanoViricides speeds up HerpeCide drug development program

NanoViricides speeds up HerpeCide drug development program

NanoViricides, Inc., a nanomedicine company developing anti-viral drugs, reports that it is accelerating its HerpeCide drug development program. [More]
Researchers help explain how malaria infection increases children's risk of developing Burkitt's lymphoma

Researchers help explain how malaria infection increases children's risk of developing Burkitt's lymphoma

In equatorial Africa, a region of the globe known as the "lymphoma belt," children are ten times more likely than in other parts of the world to develop Burkitt's lymphoma, a highly aggressive blood cancer that can be fatal if left untreated. That area is also plagued by high rates of malaria, and scientists have spent the last 50 years trying to understand how the two diseases are connected. [More]
Researchers discover way to prevent flu infection without any help from the virus

Researchers discover way to prevent flu infection without any help from the virus

Researchers have discovered a way to trigger a preventive response to a flu infection without any help from the usual players - the virus itself or interferon, a powerful infection fighter. [More]
Risk of hepatobiliary cancer higher in women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

Risk of hepatobiliary cancer higher in women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

In a new study of more than 125,000 pregnant women in Sweden, researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy found that the risk of hepatobiliary cancer and immune-mediated and cardiovascular diseases later in life is higher in women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) than in women without this condition. [More]
New Johns Hopkins study shows hepatitis C infection may spell heart trouble

New Johns Hopkins study shows hepatitis C infection may spell heart trouble

People infected with the hepatitis C virus are at risk for liver damage, but the results of a new Johns Hopkins study now show the infection may also spell heart trouble. [More]
IQWiG examines added benefit of dasabuvir and ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir in different patient groups

IQWiG examines added benefit of dasabuvir and ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir in different patient groups

Dasabuvir (trade name Exviera) and the fixed-dose drug combination ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir (trade name Viekirax) have been available since January 2015 for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C infection. The German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care had examined their added benefit in a dossier assessment completed in April 2015. [More]
Urban emergency department sees high rates of HCV infection among intravenous drug users, Baby Boomers

Urban emergency department sees high rates of HCV infection among intravenous drug users, Baby Boomers

An urban emergency department that set up a hepatitis C testing protocol saw high rates of infection among intravenous drug users and Baby Boomers, with three-quarters of those testing positive unaware they were infected. [More]
New national survey finds lack of COPD knowledge among patients

New national survey finds lack of COPD knowledge among patients

In a new national survey of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, Health Union reveals a surprising lack of awareness of risk factors and knowledge of diagnosis stage among patients. Results demonstrate a severe impact on quality of life, employment, and ability to afford treatment. [More]
New WFSJ initiative to help journalists report on staggering toll of HCV

New WFSJ initiative to help journalists report on staggering toll of HCV

The World Federation of Science Journalists is launching a new initiative to help journalists report on the staggering toll of Hepatitis C (HCV) as well as the scientific and political barriers to treating the disease. [More]

Researchers at Sydney’s Centenary Institute fight against hepatitis infection

Today is World Hepatitis Day. 400 million people around the world are currently living with hepatitis B or C. Each year, we see around 1.4 million people die from viral hepatitis. Researchers at Sydney’s Centenary Institute are working hard to change this. [More]
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