Hepatitis C in the U.S. May Be Underestimated by Over a Million In the United States, the number of people who have been infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) may have been undercounted by a whopping 1.1 million, according to a paper published in the September 2011 edition of Liver International. Epidemiologists believe that at least 5.2 million people in the United States are HCV antibody positive—meaning that they were infected at one time, although they may not have developed chronic hepatitis C—an increase of 1.1 million over The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) estimate of 4.1 million cases.
September 29, 2011
Viread Dropped From Women’s HIV PrEP Study; Truvada Evaluation Continues A study involving women at risk of HIV infection has discontinued a comparison of daily Viread (tenofovir) pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to placebo, in light of expert projections that the clinical trial will not be able to demonstrate effectiveness, according to a September 28 Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) announcement. The Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic (VOICE) study will, however, continue evaluating the safety and efficacy of another oral tablet, Truvada (tenofovir plus emtricitabine), along with a vaginal microbicide containing tenofovir.
September 27, 2011
HIV Antibody Therapy Ibalizumab Inches Forward Long-awaited results from a Phase II study of ibalizumab, an antibody-based therapy that has been in early stage development for several years, were reported at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on September 17 in Chicago. Though the results raise more questions than answers about the drug’s efficacy, the presenting researchers conclude that ibalizumab holds potential for HIV treatment veterans in need of novel therapies.
September 26, 2011
Gilead ‘Quad’ Performed Similarly to Norvir/Reyataz/Truvada Regimen in Phase III Study A study of Gilead Sciences’ “Quad” fixed-dose combination tablet containing the experimental integrase inhibitor elvitegravir and boosting agent cobicistat, along with tenofovir and emtricitabine, has met its primary objective—“non-inferiority” compared with the popular protease inhibitorbased regimen of Norvir (ritonavir)-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir) plus Truvada (tenofovir and emtricitabine)—according to a September 19 announcement by the company.
September 23, 2011
Complera Counterpart Eviplera Recommended for European Approval
Eviplera, the brand equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved fixed-dose combination tablet Complera (rilpivirine, tenofovir and emtricitabine), has been recommended for European approval by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), the scientific committee of the European Medicines Agency.
BMS Drug Boosts Hep C Cure Rates Adding BMS-790052, an experimental hepatitis C drug being developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, to pegylated interferon and ribavirin dramatically increased cure rates among first-time treatment takers with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1, according to a Phase IIa study presented at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), held September 17 to September 20, in Chicago.
September 21, 2011
Sangamo’s Gene Therapy Continues to Show Well in Study
Genetically modifying CD4 cells to knock out the CCR5 coreceptor resulted in significant CD4 count gains and, in some patients, a notable reduction in viral load while off antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, according to new data from a clinical trial reported in two presentations at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Chicago.
London Study: One in Five Quit Atripla Within First Year of Treatment
One in five people starting HIV treatment with Atripla end up switching to another regimen within a year, often because of central nervous system (CNS) side effects, according to a report from clinicians at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London highlighted at the 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) on Sunday, September 18, in Chicago.
Coffee Helps Minimize Hepatitis C Treatment Side Effects Not only does coffee consumption slow liver disease progression and increase the chances of success while undergoing treatment for chronic hepatitis C infection, but drinking three or more cups a day also appears to reduce the incidence of hep C treatment side effects by more than 80 percent. These findings, suggesting that coffee may greatly improve the tolerability of hepatitis C treatment, were presented at the 10th AIDS Impact conference, held from September 12 to 15 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and reported by aidsmap.
September 15, 2011
HIV Therapeutic Vaccine Shows Signs of Promise
Vacc-4x, a therapeutic HIV vaccine being developed by Bionor Pharma, showed signs of promise in a recent clinical trial, according to results reported Wednesday, September 14, at the AIDS Vaccine 2011 conference in Bangkok.
September 14, 2011
Unlocking Blood-Brain Barrier May Improve Neurological Treatment Outcomes
Researchers at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine may have solved a problem that has long vexed neurologists, including those involved in treating and studying HIV/AIDS-related neurological problems. According to a new report published in the September 14 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, the Cornell team has found a way to open and close the blood-brain barrier, which may allow for more effective treatment of a variety of brain-centered diseases and complications, such as those associated with HIV/AIDS.
September 13, 2011
U.K. Survey: 'Fluctuating' HIV Symptoms Affect Work Ability and Daily Living
“Fluctuating” symptoms are common among people living with HIV and have the potential to disrupt day-to-day living, including the ability to work, according to a survey conducted by the United Kingdom’s National AIDS Trust (NAT) and reported by aidsmap. The variation and unpredictability of the symptoms, which include fatigue, insomnia, depression, diarrhea and neuropathy, tend to be as much of a problem as the symptoms themselves.
September 12, 2011
Fluorescent Cats and the Development of Gene-Based Therapies Against HIV A litter of green-glowing kittens are helping Mayo Clinic researchers develop a gene-based immunization strategy to fight feline AIDS and illuminate ways to combat human HIV infection and other diseases. The goal of the research, published September 11 by Nature Methods, is to create cats with intrinsic immunity to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
September 09, 2011
HIV Neuropathy Pain Patch Reaches for FDA Approval An application supporting approval for a skin patch containing the chili pepperderived chemical capsaicin to manage HIV-associated neuropathy pain has been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to a news release from NeurogesX, a pharmaceutical company based in San Mateo, California.
September 08, 2011
300 Gay Men in SF to Receive PrEP Through Demonstration Project San Francisco city officials are gearing up to offer pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to men who have sex with men (MSM) through a demonstration project set to begin in early 2012, according to a September 8 news report published by the Bay Area Reporter (BAR).
September 07, 2011
Abacavir/Lamivudine Equals Tenofovir/Emtricitabine in Cohort Study People taking an antiretroviral (ARV) combination including abacavir and lamivudine (typically used together as Epzicom) were no more likely to experience treatment failure compared with people taking a combination including tenofovir and emtricitabine (typically used together as Truvada)—regardless of their initial HIV levels. These results, from a Canadian HIV cohort, were published in the September 1 issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
September 06, 2011
Meningitis-Causing Fungus Needs to Be Tested, HIV Researchers Say
Health care providers treating people living with HIV for cryptococcosis—a serious fungal disease that can affect the lungs and brain—should order tests to identify the microorganism causing the infection, according to a paper published September 1 via the online journal PLoS Pathogens. Though cryptococcosis is usually chalked up to the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, it could be Cryptococcus gattii, a sibling species that could make a difference in treatment, clinical course and outcome.