jueves, 9 de abril de 2015

El fin de la hepatitis C...?

2014 will do down as a pivotal year in the fight against hepatitis C virus (HCV), a blood-borne infection that is thought to infect around 2.5% of the world’s population - some 170 million people. 

The availability of new, more effective therapies for hepatitis C virus have raised the tantalising prospect of being able to eliminate the infection on a global basis, although there are still significant obstacles to overcome. 

Viral hepatitis - which generally means hepatitis B and C - “kills more people every year than HIV, malaria and tuberculosis combined, but has not had the same level of resources committed to it,” according to Charles Gore, who is chief executive of the Hepatitis C Trust in the UK and president of the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA). 

A resolution passed at the Assembly last year called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to draw up a strategy with targets for the elimination of viral hepatitis, and with milestones on the path to elimination likely to be set for 2020 and 2030

While the availability of a vaccine for hepatitis B has made elimination of that form of viral hepatitis feasible, for HCV that would have been unthinkable before the development of new directly-acting antivirals - across three drug classes - that have simplified treatment and improved sustained virologic response (SVR) rates, which in HCV can be considered an effective cure.

The launch of drugs such as Gilead’s Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and Harvoni (sofosbuvir and ledipasvir), AbbVie’s Viekirax (ombitasvir/ paritaprevir/ritonavir) and Exviera (dasabuvir), J&J’s Olysio (simeprevir) and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Daklinza (daclatasvir) means that doctors finally have an alternative to lengthy, cumbersome and hard-to-tolerate regimens based on immunestimulating pegylated interferons.
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