Welcome to HCV Advocate’s hepatitis blog. The intent of this blog is to keep our website audience up-to-date on information about hepatitis and to answer some of our web site and training audience questions. People are encouraged to submit questions and post comments.

For more information on how to use this blog
click here, the HCV drug pipeline click here, and for more information on HCV clinical trials click here

Be sure to check out our other blogs: The HBV Advocate Blog and Hepatitis & Tattoos.

Alan Franciscus
HCV Advocate
HBV Advocate

Drugs in Development / Clinical Trials—Updated October 13, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kiwi researcher's acclaim for breakthrough in hepatitis C treatment

A New Zealand researcher has been recognised for a major breakthrough in the treatment of a virus which causes liver failure.

Professor Edward Gane was one of more than a dozen researchers and scholars awarded medals by the Royal Society of New Zealand at a ceremony in Wellington last night.

Professor Gane, from Auckland City Hospital and the Auckland District Health Board, received the Liley Medal for his work on an improved treatment for hepatitis C, which is a major cause of liver failure in New Zealand.


Community pharmacists could screen at-risk groups for liver disease

People at risk of the disease could be screened in community pharmacies that already offer needle exchange or methadone services.

Community pharmacists have the potential to screen at-risk groups for hepatitis C and could play a key role in helping to improve liver disease services in primary care, according to the conclusions of a commission set up to investigate the impact of the disease.

Writing in The Lancet (online, 27 November 2014)[1], the group of leading doctors and medical scientists who made up the commission argue that screening for hepatitis C in primary care is cost-effective.

People at risk of the disease could be screened in community pharmacies that already offer needle exchange or methadone services, suggests the group, led by Roger Williams, director of the institute of hepatology at Foundation for Liver Research, London.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 5: The Uncomfortable Math Of Hep C Treatment

What’s the price of a human life? Many of us would say each life is priceless. But health economists sometimes have a number in mind.

Want to know what that number is?

In this part of our series “At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and The Fight To Stop It,” we'll tell you that - and more. We go beyond the high price of new hepatitis C drugs  to ask: how much is too much? And what the heck is a "quality adjusted life year" anyway?

Listen to the podcast here...

New report underlines success of City’s ‘Clean Needle Exchange Program’

The city’s medical services director, Dr. James Dunford told a City Council committee Nov. 13 that more than 2.5 million dirty needles were properly disposed of since the start of the city’s Clean Syringe Exchange Program.

Presenting the Safe Point San Diego Clean Syringe Exchange Program Annual Report for fiscal year 2014 Dunford then asked Council members to imagine the stack of 2.5 million dirty needles: “Put that at Petco Park and see what kind of pile you’d be looking at.”

Dunford told members of the Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee the program has taken in 405,416 dirty needles just in the last fiscal year. He said the program has collected 276,958 more syringes than clean ones distributed to drug addicts.


Bristol-Myers Squibb Receives Complete Response Letter from U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Daclatasvir, an Investigational Treatment for Hepatitis C

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Complete Response Letter (CRL) regarding the New Drug Application (NDA) for daclatasvir, an NS5A complex inhibitor, in combination with other agents for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV).

The initial daclatasvir NDA submitted to the FDA focused on its use in combination with asunaprevir, an NS3/4A protease inhibitor. Given the withdrawal of asunaprevir by Bristol-Myers Squibb in October, the FDA is requesting additional data for daclatasvir in combination with other antiviral agents for the treatment of HCV. Bristol-Myers Squibb is in discussions with the FDA about the scope of these data.

“Despite the recent advances in the treatment of hepatitis C there remain significant areas of unmet high need in this disease area,” said Francis Cuss, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Our commitment remains to make daclatasvir-based regimens available to help these difficult-to-treat patients achieve cure, and we will continue to collaborate with the FDA to bring daclatasvir to patients in the U.S. as quickly as possible.”

Ongoing Daclatasvir Clinical Development
Bristol-Myers Squibb is dedicated to the ongoing clinical development program for daclatasvir, a potent, pan-genotypic NS5A complex inhibitor (in vitro), which is currently being investigated globally in multiple treatment regimens for HCV patients with high unmet need. The company continues to progress its daclatasvir clinical trial program focused on difficult-to-treat patients, including pre- and post-liver transplant (ALLY-1), HCV patients co-infected with HIV (ALLY-2) and patients with genotype 3 (ALLY-3). The Phase 3 UNITY studies investigating Bristol-Myers Squibb’s investigational all-oral fixed-dose-combination DCV-TRIO regimen (daclatasvir/asunaprevir/beclabuvir) are also ongoing and include study populations of non-cirrhotic naïve, cirrhotic naïve and previously treated patients.

Source: BMS

FDA declines to approve Bristol-Myers hepatitis drug

(Reuters) - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co on Wednesday said U.S. regulators had declined to approve the use of its experimental treatment for hepatitis C, daclatasvir, in combination with other antiviral drugs.

Bristol-Myers said it had initially sought permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market the drug, a so-called NS5A inhibitor, in combination with asunaprevir, one of the New York-based company's experimental medicines.

But Bristol-Myers abandoned its U.S. marketing application for asunaprevir in October because of potential competition from more potent drugs, leaving the FDA without data to gauge the effectiveness of daclatasvir as part of a combination regimen.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hepatitis C Around the World: Hepatitis C in Canada

Be sure to check out our new HCSP fact sheet:  Hepatitis C Around the World: Hepatitis C in Canada, by Cheryl Reitz and C.D. Mazoff.