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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.
MUSC surgeon awarded $3.8 million grant to evaluate transplant drug

MUSC surgeon awarded $3.8 million grant to evaluate transplant drug

Seldom can one say $3.8 million is just the tip of the iceberg, but a newly awarded grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc. is just that. MUSC transplant surgeon Kenneth Chavin, M.D., Ph.D., says the true value of the multi-center drug trial is closer to $26 million, including $22 million in free drugs provided by the pharmaceutical company. [More]
Novel nanoparticle technology can decipher protein structures and help access drug targets

Novel nanoparticle technology can decipher protein structures and help access drug targets

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, have developed a nanoparticle technology that can be used to stabilise membrane proteins so that their structure can be studied in a lipid environment. The method, described in Nature Methods, makes it possible to access drug targets that previously could not be investigated and therefore potentially allows for the development of novel drugs, therapeutic antibodies and vaccines. [More]
Study: 2.3 million people living with HIV co-infected with HCV

Study: 2.3 million people living with HIV co-infected with HCV

An estimated 2.3 million people living with HIV are co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) globally, a new study by the University of Bristol and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has found. [More]
Inherited gene after black plague may help treat HIV patients co-infected with hepatitis C

Inherited gene after black plague may help treat HIV patients co-infected with hepatitis C

The Black Death swept Europe in the 14th century eliminating up to half of the population but it left genetic clues that now may aid a University of Cincinnati researcher in treating HIV patients co-infected with hepatitis C using an anti-retroviral drug therapy. [More]
Study identifies new mechanism for controlling HIV replication

Study identifies new mechanism for controlling HIV replication

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that HIV infection of human immune cells triggers a massive increase in methylation, a chemical modification, to both human and viral RNA, aiding replication of the virus. [More]
Regulus reports net loss of $7.2 million for fourth quarter 2015

Regulus reports net loss of $7.2 million for fourth quarter 2015

Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leading the discovery and development of innovative medicines targeting microRNAs, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year ended December 31, 2015 and provided a summary of recent corporate highlights. [More]
PharmaEssentia to present results of P1101 + ribavirin phase II trial in HCV patients at APASL 2016

PharmaEssentia to present results of P1101 + ribavirin phase II trial in HCV patients at APASL 2016

PharmaEssentia Corporation announces presentation of the results of the phase II trial for P1101 + ribavirin in patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection at the 25th Conference of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver, taking place in Tokyo, Japan from February 20 to 24, 2016 (APASL 2016). Data will be presented by the study coordinating investigator Prof. Wan-Long Chuang (Taiwan) at the HCV parallel oral session on Feb 22nd (15:45-17:45). [More]
Virginia Tech scientist finds way to potentially track and stop viruses

Virginia Tech scientist finds way to potentially track and stop viruses

Viruses are molecular thieves that take from their hosts under the cloak of darkness. But now a Virginia Tech scientist has found a way to not only track viral hijackers, but also potentially stop them from replicating. [More]
Distinctive gene 'signature' may lead to new way to diagnose Lyme disease

Distinctive gene 'signature' may lead to new way to diagnose Lyme disease

Researchers at UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins may have found a new way to diagnose Lyme disease, based on a distinctive gene "signature" they discovered in white blood cells of patients infected with the tick-borne bacteria. [More]
Vaccinations could have significant economic value

Vaccinations could have significant economic value

Vaccinations, long recognized as an excellent investment that saves lives and prevents illness, could have significant economic value that far exceeds their original cost, a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found. [More]
Experimental nanoparticle therapy shows promise for fighting primary liver cancer

Experimental nanoparticle therapy shows promise for fighting primary liver cancer

An experimental nanoparticle therapy that combines low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and fish oil preferentially kills primary liver cancer cells without harming healthy cells, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report. [More]
World Hepatitis Alliance calls for comprehensive hepatitis strategies to help prevent liver cancer deaths

World Hepatitis Alliance calls for comprehensive hepatitis strategies to help prevent liver cancer deaths

Rock-icon David Bowie died recently at the age of 69 after a battle with what is being reported as liver cancer. Each year, more than 800,000 people die from liver cancer globally, the second biggest cancer killer. Yet, a high majority of these deaths are completely preventable. [More]
UC Davis researchers develop Hepatitis virus-like particles to target breast cancer

UC Davis researchers develop Hepatitis virus-like particles to target breast cancer

UC Davis researchers have developed a way to use the empty shell of a Hepatitis E virus to carry vaccines or drugs into the body. The technique has been tested in rodents as a way to target breast cancer, and is available for commercial licensing through UC Davis Office of Research. [More]
Drinking extra 2 cups of coffee per day may reduce cirrhosis risk by 44%

Drinking extra 2 cups of coffee per day may reduce cirrhosis risk by 44%

Regular consumption of coffee was linked with a reduced risk of liver cirrhosis in a review of relevant studies published before July 2015. [More]
EC approves expanded use of Daklinza (daclatasvir) for patients with chronic HCV and HIV co-infection

EC approves expanded use of Daklinza (daclatasvir) for patients with chronic HCV and HIV co-infection

Bristol-Myers Squibb today announced that the European Commission has approved the expanded use of Daklinza, a first-in-class oral, once-a-day pill used in combination with other treatments as an option for adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection who are co-infected with HIV or who have had a prior liver transplant. [More]
NJHA honors several individuals and organizations with Healthcare Leader Awards

NJHA honors several individuals and organizations with Healthcare Leader Awards

The New Jersey Hospital Association, the state's oldest and largest healthcare trade association, today held its annual awards program to honor several individuals and organizations for their commitment to the state's healthcare system and the patients and communities they serve. [More]
Zepatier receives FDA approval for treatment of chronic HCV genotypes 1 and 4 infections

Zepatier receives FDA approval for treatment of chronic HCV genotypes 1 and 4 infections

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir) with or without ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1 and 4 infections in adult patients. [More]
FDA expands use of Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen for BRAF V600 mutant and wild-type advanced melanoma

FDA expands use of Opdivo + Yervoy Regimen for BRAF V600 mutant and wild-type advanced melanoma

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Opdivo in combination with Yervoy for the treatment of patients with BRAF V600 wild-type and BRAF V600 mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma. [More]
Monitoring HBcrAg levels could help optimise PEG-IFN therapy

Monitoring HBcrAg levels could help optimise PEG-IFN therapy

Serum hepatitis B core-related antigen could serve as a quantitative marker of response to pegylated interferon therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection positive for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), findings indicate. [More]
Rescue TDF monotherapy effective in multidrug resistant chronic HBV

Rescue TDF monotherapy effective in multidrug resistant chronic HBV

Researchers from the Republic of Korea say that rescue therapy with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate alone is an appropriate option for patients with multidrug resistant chronic hepatitis B virus infection. [More]
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