Médecins du Monde - New Treatments for Hepatitis C Virus
Those working for MdM do not solely dispense care and treatment but condemn violations of human dignity and rights and fight to improve matters for populations living in precarious situations.30 May 2014
the HCV pandemic 185 million people across the world are infected with HCV; 150 million are chronically infected. The HCV pandemic is concentrated in middle-income countries (MICs); while 15% of the 150 million people with chronic HCV live in high-income countries (HICs), 73% live in MICs and 12% in low-income countries (LICs). It is estimated that HCV-related liver complications kill 350,000 people annually. Currently, the standard of care is injectable peg-interferon (PEG-IFN) used in combination with ribavirin (RBV). The cure rate is 50-75%, and the treatment is associated with strong side effects. Worldwide, only a tiny percentage of people with HCV have access to treatment.
2014, a turning-point in the history of the pandemic
New treatments recently approved or soon to be authorized will offer a range of advantages compared with their predecessors: multigenotypic activity, fewer side effects, and higher cure rates, including for those in advanced stages of infection. These direct-acting antiretrovirals (DAAs), are bringing with them great hope for millions of people, as their use may lead to excellent cure rates. Gilead’s new nucleotide polymerase inhibitor/DAA sofosbuvir (SOF) was approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in November 2013 and by United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2013. The cure rate with sofosbuvir is close to 90% according to recent clinical trials results. Janssen’s simeprevir also received FDA approval in November 2013. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has submitted daclatasvir to the FDA. Sofosbuvir will be most likely be followed by other DAAs marketed by AbbVie, Janssen, and BMS before the end of 2014.
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