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Coinfection Chronicle

Coinfection Chronicle


Gilead Sciences and Achillion Pharmaceuticals have launched a Phase I clinical trial of the experimental hepatitis C treatment GS 9132/ACH-806, which aims to prevent HCV replication by inhibiting viral protease. __________ A 16-week study of 66 HIV-HCV coinfected patients published in the August 1 edition of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes has shown that once-weekly treatment with epoetin alfa, marketed as Epogen or Procrit, improved HCV treatment-related anemia. Patients treated with epoetin alfa also reported less fatigue. __________ HIV-HCV coinfection blunts response to antiretroviral drugs, according to an analysis of eight studies involving 6,216 coinfected patients published in the September 1 edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The analysis shows that coinfected patients experience an average CD4-cell count rebound that is 33.4 cells per cubic millimeter lower than patients with HIV alone after one year of therapy. __________ A study presented at the Third International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment has shown that HIV-HCV coinfected adults are at risk of developing liver cancer at a younger age than patients with only HCV. The time from initial HCV infection to development of hepatocellular carcinoma was seven-and-one-half years shorter in HIV-HCV coinfected patients, according to the study. __________ Researchers reported at the Third International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment that HIV patients coinfected with either chronic hepatitis B or C and treated with protease inhibitors or nonnucleoside drugs were at a higher risk for liver abnormalities than those treated with nucleoside medications. __________ HIV-HCV coinfected patients experiencing liver-impairment achieve low blood-based levels of Kaletra and high levels of nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. The low levels of Kaletra could lead to treatment failure, while the high nonnucleoside levels could significantly boost the risks for adverse drug side effects, researchers say. _____ Roche has launched an advertising campaign to educate adults infected with hepatitis C about the disease and treatment options. The campaign directs viewers to a new Web site and a telephone hotline (866-437-2768) for treatment news and resources. Roche markets the HCV treatments Pegasys (pegylated interferon) and Copegus (ribavirin).

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