Breakthrough treatment for hepatitis C

April 15, 2014 by Kirsten O'leary

(Medical Xpress)—A breakthrough treatment for hepatitis C that halves treatment time has been developed in an international clinical trial that included The University of Queensland.

The landmark study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine in a paper co-authored by Professor Darrell Crawford, head of the UQ School of Medicine and director of the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation.

Professor Crawford said the findings could have a significant, positive impact on millions of patients living with hepatitis C around the world.

"This regime works in half the amount of time as existing treatments with considerably fewer side-effects," Professor Crawford said.

"Current hepatitis C treatments include medications administered by injections for 24 to 48 weeks, which often cause many severe side-effects, such as anxiety and depression.

"Treatment in this study was administered orally for only 12 weeks with less than one per cent of trial discontinuing due to side-effects."

The research was conducted at 79 sites across the world, including four in Australia.

The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation's Clinical Trials Unit, based at Greenslopes Private Hospital, was the first site to enroll a patient outside the USA.

This was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial where all participants had been diagnosed with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) of the type 1 genotype and had not previously taken medications to treat the HCV infection.

Half the participants received the new treatment regime for 12 weeks while the other half received no treatment.

The groups were then reversed, thereby allowing all participants to be treated with the new drugs.

The new "triple therapy" treatment was taken in combination with ribavirin (RBV).

It is estimated that 130-150 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis C.

In 2011, about 226,700 people in Australia were living with chronic C.

Explore further: New drug combination offers hope to patients with currently untreatable Hepatitis C

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Bile acid uptake inhibitor prevents NASH / fatty liver in mice

September 21, 2016

Drugs that interfere with bile acid recycling can prevent several aspects of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) in mice fed a high-fat diet, scientists from Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of ...

New therapeutic target for Crohn's disease

September 20, 2016

Research from the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) identifies a promising new target for future drugs to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study, published today in Cell Reports, also indicates ...

Mosquitoes, Zika and biotech regulation

September 19, 2016

In a new Policy Forum article in Science, NC State professor Jennifer Kuzma argues that federal authorities are missing an opportunity to revise outdated regulatory processes not fit for modern innovations in biotechnology, ...

Arthritis drug may help with type of hair loss

September 22, 2016

(HealthDay)—For people who suffer from a condition that causes disfiguring hair loss, a drug used for rheumatoid arthritis might regrow their hair, a new, small study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.