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ASCEND Study Looks at Community-based Hepatitis C Treatment

A new trial sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health will evaluate whether primary care physicians and other health care providers such as nurse practitioners can provide interferon-free therapy for hepatitis C as effectively as hepatologists or infectious disease specialists. If successful, community-based care could greatly expand the number of people able to access treatment.

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Allergy Drug Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus Replication in Mouse Study

The over-the-counter allergy medication chlorcyclizine HCl, or CCZ, was found to be a potent inhibitor of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1b and 2a replication, according to a laboratory study described in the April 8 edition of Science Translational Medicine. The study authors suggest that this older drug could potentially be an affordable component of combination treatment. A Phase 1 clinical trial is now underway.

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CROI 2015: Good Sofosbuvir/Ledipasvir Adherence in SYNERGY and ERADICATE Trials

Overall adherence rates ranged from 96% to nearly 100% in 2 clinical trials of sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (Harvoni) treatment in an urban population of hepatitis C and HIV/HCV coinfected patients traditionally considered difficult to treat, researchers reported at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle. Adherence dropped off over time, however, underlining the importance of short-duration therapy.

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Janssen Interferon-Free Regimen with Simeprevir Cures Most Patients with Genotype 1 HCV

A 12-week all-oral regimen containing the FDA-approved HCV protease inhibitor simeprevir (Olysio) plus 2 investigational direct-acting antivirals drugs being developed by Janssen cured up to 95% of people with genotype 1 hepatitis C, according to study findings presented at the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) conference last month in Istanbul.

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FDA Warns of Heart Risk When Combining Amiodarone with Sovaldi or Harvoni

The new oral hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir, either in the sofosbuvir/ ledipasvir coformulation (Harvoni) or with other direct-acting antivirals, should not be taken with the anti-arrhythmic medication amiodarone, the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA) and Gilead Sciences warned after several patients developed decreased heart rate (bradycardia) and 1 had a fatal heart attack when they combined these drugs.

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