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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.
Monash University-led researchers call for HCV patients to gain improved access to effective drugs

Monash University-led researchers call for HCV patients to gain improved access to effective drugs

In a letter to the Medical Journal of Australia published today, a Monash University-led team is asking for hepatitis C virus patients to gain improved access to drugs to prevent liver related deaths. [More]
Investing in new hepatitis C therapies may have significant economic impact

Investing in new hepatitis C therapies may have significant economic impact

While a new generation of safer, more effective oral medications to treat hepatitis C patients may cost tens of thousands of dollars for a 12-week regiment, investing in these new therapies could generate savings estimated at more than $3.2 billion annually in the U.S. and five European countries, according to a new study (abstract 228) released today at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2015. [More]
MD Anderson researchers find significant clinical variations among liver cancer patients

MD Anderson researchers find significant clinical variations among liver cancer patients

Significant clinical variations exist among patients with the most common type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), depending on the viral cause of the disease -hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV). These differences suggest that hepatitis status should be considered when developing treatment plans for newly diagnosed patients, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. [More]
TSRI researchers find interferon beta protein as prime suspect in persistent viral infections

TSRI researchers find interferon beta protein as prime suspect in persistent viral infections

Interferon proteins are normally considered virus-fighters, but scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found evidence that one of them, interferon beta (IFNβ), has an immune-suppressing effect that can help some viruses establish persistent infections. [More]
Simple blood test could help predict effectiveness of interferon-based therapy in HCV-infected patients

Simple blood test could help predict effectiveness of interferon-based therapy in HCV-infected patients

A simple blood test can be used to predict which chronic hepatitis C patients will respond to interferon-based therapy, according to a report in the May issue of Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the basic science journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. [More]
New edition of WHO Essential Medicines List includes new treatments for hepatitis C, cancers and multi-drug TB

New edition of WHO Essential Medicines List includes new treatments for hepatitis C, cancers and multi-drug TB

WHO today published the new edition of its Model List of Essential Medicines which includes ground-breaking new treatments for hepatitis C, a variety of cancers (including breast cancer and leukaemia) and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB), among others. The move opens the way to improve access to innovative medicines that show clear clinical benefits and could have enormous public health impact globally. [More]

WHO moves to improve access to lifesaving medicines for hepatitis C, Drug-resistant TB and cancers

The World Health Organization (WHO) today published the new edition of its Model List of Essential Medicines) which includes ground-breaking new treatments for hepatitis C, a variety of cancers (including breast cancer and leukaemia) and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB), among others... [More]
Hepatitis C common among HIV-positive patients in sub-Saharan Africa

Hepatitis C common among HIV-positive patients in sub-Saharan Africa

A new study has found high levels of infection with hepatitis C (HCV) across Africa, particularly in people infected with HIV... [More]
Investigational three-drug combination clears hepatitis C in 93% of patients with liver cirrhosis

Investigational three-drug combination clears hepatitis C in 93% of patients with liver cirrhosis

A 12-week dose of an investigational three-drug hepatitis C combination cleared the virus in 93 percent of patients with liver cirrhosis who hadn't previously been treated, according to a study in the May 5, 2015, issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. [More]
New study finds high levels of HCV infection among HIV-infected people across Africa

New study finds high levels of HCV infection among HIV-infected people across Africa

A new study has found high levels of infection with hepatitis C (HCV) across Africa, particularly in people infected with HIV. [More]
Fifth patient dosed in Benitec's TT-034 Phase I/IIa clinical trial for prevention of HCV infection

Fifth patient dosed in Benitec's TT-034 Phase I/IIa clinical trial for prevention of HCV infection

Benitec Biopharma, a biopharmaceutical company focused on providing potentially curative therapies with its proprietary gene-silencing technology called ddRNAi or "expressed RNAi," is pleased to advise that the fifth patient in the company's 'first in man', Phase I/IIa dose escalation clinical trial of TT-034 for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, has today, been dosed at the Duke Clinical Research Unit. [More]
Will new hepatitis C treatments strain payers’ budgets? An interview with Dr Chhatwal

Will new hepatitis C treatments strain payers’ budgets? An interview with Dr Chhatwal

Our analysis shows that these drugs would not save overall healthcare money, but would add to the budget. When something is cost effective, it does not necessarily mean it is going to save money. It essentially implies that we're willing to spend additional money to gain additional benefits... [More]
NanoViricides' anti-viral drug candidates show promise in lethal animal model of dermal herpes infection

NanoViricides' anti-viral drug candidates show promise in lethal animal model of dermal herpes infection

NanoViricides, Inc., a nanomedicine company developing anti-viral drugs, discusses the significance of the strong effectiveness demonstrated by its anti-viral drug candidates in a lethal animal model of dermal herpes infection. [More]
Combination therapy effective in HCV patients with advanced cirrhosis and post-transplant recurrence

Combination therapy effective in HCV patients with advanced cirrhosis and post-transplant recurrence

Phase 3 results presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015 show that a combination of daclatasvir (DCV), sofosbuvir (SOF) and ribavirin (RBV) for 12 weeks was effective and well tolerated amongst patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection with advanced cirrhosis and post-transplant recurrence. [More]

Sofosbuvir-based regimens effective in HIV-HCV co-infected, cirrhotic patients

A new study revealed today at The International Liver Congress 2015 shows that sofosbuvir (SOF)-based regimens are effective and well tolerated in hepatitis C and HIV co-infected, cirrhotic patients. Sustained virologic response at 4 weeks (SVR4) was observed in 98% of patients and in 95% at 12 weeks (SVR12). [More]
Sofosbuvir in combination with ribavirin/peginterferon achieves highest SVR rates in GT-3 HCV patients

Sofosbuvir in combination with ribavirin/peginterferon achieves highest SVR rates in GT-3 HCV patients

Results presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015 demonstrate that hepatitis C (HCV)-infected genotype-3 (GT-3) patients, with and without cirrhosis, receiving 24 weeks of sofosbuvir (SOF) in combination with ribavirin (RBV) and peginterferon (PEG) achieved the highest sustained virologic response rates at 12 weeks (SVR12), observed in a Phase 3 study, to date. [More]
Combination treatment effective for HCV genotype-1 mono-infected patients

Combination treatment effective for HCV genotype-1 mono-infected patients

Results presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015 show that the sofosbuvir (SOF)/daclatasvir (DCV) treatment combination is effective amongst hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype-1 mono-infected patients. These results are significant because whilst other combinations have been widely reported on, there have been few data until now regarding the use of SOF/DCV combination in real world situations. [More]
New data supports use DAAs in patients with HCV recurrence following liver transplantation

New data supports use DAAs in patients with HCV recurrence following liver transplantation

New data presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015, supports the use of sofosbuvir (SOF)- and daclatasvir (DCV)-based regimens in patients with recurrence of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) following liver transplantation (LT). [More]
Systematic review shows hepatitis B and C testing lacking in many European countries

Systematic review shows hepatitis B and C testing lacking in many European countries

The apparent dearth of research on hepatitis B and C testing in many European countries could be hampering efforts to identify infected individuals, according to results from a comprehensive review of 136 studies presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015. [More]
Occurrence of advanced liver fibrosis similar for patients with HCV infection

Occurrence of advanced liver fibrosis similar for patients with HCV infection

Study results presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015 show that the occurrence of advanced liver fibrosis is similar for patients infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), whether or not they have been diagnosed. [More]
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