The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a breakthrough therapy designation for daclatasvir when used with the already approved medication sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) in people with advanced liver damage.
When a medication is designated as a breakthrough therapy the FDA speeds up its review of the medication.
Daclatasvir and sofosbuvir are both direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). DAAs are a group of medications that directly attack the ability of a virus to make copies of itself.
In the study supporting the application for breakthrough therapy status, participants took daclatasvir, sofosbuvir and ribavirin for 12 weeks. The treatment was generally safe and well-tolerated despite participants having advanced liver injury. The most common side effects were headache, fatigue, anemia, diarrhea, and nausea. (HIVandhepatitis.com, June 2015, in English)
The Hépatite Virale – l’Actuel’s Cohort (HEPVIRAC) study found relatively low Hep C reinfection rates among people who inject drugs after they are cured with treatment, reported researchers at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) 50th International Liver Congress.
This study included 338 participants who were cured of hepatitis C at a clinic in Montreal, Quebec. The majority of the participants were male and the average age was 46 years old. For 82% of the participants the main risk factor for acquiring Hep C was injection drug use.
Of the 338 participants, 22 participants (6%) became re-infected with Hep C over a mid-point of 2.7 years.
Not having stable housing and being co-infected with Hep C and HIV were significantly associated with reinfection.
“Hep C reinfection after successful treatment in our cohort was low. Although the rate of Hep C reinfection is higher in injection drug users than non-injection drugs users, it is much lower than the overall incidence rate of the first Hep C infection among injection drugs users in Montreal”, concluded the researchers. (aidsmap.com, June 2015, in English)
A majority of people with Hep B or C disclose their infection but this often leads to discrimination, including people avoiding physical contact and not being invited to social events, reported researchers at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) 50th International Liver Congress.
Over 1200 people living with Hep B or C in Europe and the U.S. completed an online survey about their experiences with Hep B or C-related discrimination.
Just under 50% of participants experienced some kind of discrimination related to their hepatitis status. A quarter of those who disclosed to relatives said that their relatives started to avoid physical contact. Almost a quarter of people who disclosed to friends said they were no longer invited to social events.
Of those who disclosed to their partner, one-third said it affected their relationship and nearly half said it affected their sex life.
“The results are extremely important because they allow us to identify the situations and population segments where discriminatory behavior and stigma are more frequent, enabling the design of strategies and action plans to fight these adverse situations that much impair the quality of life of those infected with viral hepatitis,” the researchers concluded. (HIVandhepatitis.com, May 2015, in English)