Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hepatitis B Foundation, Delaware Valley University at odds over Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center

When the Hepatitis B Foundation and Delaware Valley University partnered to create the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center more than 10 years ago, both heralded it as a scientific research hub that would put Bucks County on the map in the life sciences world.

These days, the Hepatitis B Foundation says the relationship among board members from the two organizations has become so "hostile and unworkable" that the foundation is asking a Bucks County judge to intervene.

Foundation directors say the disagreement stems from disputes over the biotech center's finances and threatens the continued success of the center, putting it at risk of losing a $4.7 million federal grant to expand and create space for current and future tenants. About 300 people work at the center.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

‘Polio-like drive needed to eradicate Hepatitis B’

Indore : On the second day of the 56th Annual Gastroenterology Conference, ISGCON-15, the experts have laid emphasis on providing free vaccines of Hepatitis-B to people and requested the government to take immediate action in this regard.

Expressing concern over increase in Hepatitis-B cases, Dr Shiv Sarin said, “Millions of people are suffering from the disease in our country and the number is increasing. The need of the hour is a strong campaign, similar to pulse polio and if we start giving vaccination to every child from tomorrow, then we can eradicate the disease by 2080.”

He said 90% of infants are infected with Hepatitis-B from their mothers and these patients couldn’t get rid of the disease anyway but can stay healthy by taking proper medicines. But, chances of curing Hepatitis-B caused by blood transfusion are 99 percent.


Tenofovir during pregnancy reduces risk of mother-to-child hepatitis B virus transmission

Women with chronic hepatitis B and high viral load who were treated with tenofovir (Viread) during pregnancy were significantly less likely to transmit hepatitis B virus (HBV) to their babies, according to study findings presented this week at the 2015 AASLD Liver Meeting in San Francisco. Another study showed that women with hepatitis B often experience viral load or ALT 'flares' during pregnancy or post-partum.

Calvin Pan from New York University School of Medicine and colleagues from China conducted a randomised study of the effect of tenofovir on perinatal transmission of HBV.

Prevention of mother-to-child HBV transmission is the most effective way to reduce the global burden of chronic hepatitis B infection and liver cancer, Pan said. Despite immunoprophylaxis using hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG), about 10-30% of infants born to women with high HBV DNA become infected. Current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines do not recommend antiviral therapy for hepatitis B during pregnancy.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

CyTuVax Starts Phase I Clinical Trial With The HBAI20 Hepatitis B Vaccine For Non-Responders

Effective vaccination for persons that do not respond to standard Hepatitis B vaccines

Maastricht, The Netherlands, 03 November 2015 – CyTuVax, a life science company focusing on the development of cancer, viral and bacterial vaccines, today announced the start of a phase I clinical trial assessing the safety and efficacy of its lead product, a Hepatitis B HBAI20 vaccine for non-responders to standard Hepatitis B vaccines. This trial will be conducted at the Ease Travel Clinic by the Department of Medical Microbiology of the MAASTRICHT UMC and is coordinated by Dr. A.M. L. Oude Lashof, MD PhD, Internist and Consultant Infectious Diseases of Maastricht UMC. The trial, for which 36 subjects are being recruited, will start in the course of October 2015 and data are expected to be published in Q3 of 2016.

Hepatitis B is an infectious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), and could lead to acute or chronic liver inflammation that might trigger liver failure and liver cancer. Many people have no symptoms during the initial infection. Worldwide an estimated 360 million people are chronically infected, of whom almost one million people die annually of HBV-related liver disease. Chronic hepatitis B is the major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer. The disease occurs in particular in Africa, south of the Sahara and in East Asia, where around 10% of the adults are chronic carriers of the virus.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Building the case for a national hepatitis B treatment program in China

An estimated 100 million people in China are living with chronic hepatitis B infection, making it the most prevalent life threatening disease in the country. If left untreated, hepatitis B can lead to serious liver damage and is the leading cause of liver-related cancer and deaths in China. Despite the availability of effective therapies, there is no national policy in place to cover hepatitis B treatment and many patients, particularly those with rural health plans, can’t afford it.

Now, in the first comprehensive, independent study of its kind, researchers at Stanford and the University of Michigan have published a cost-effective analysis of all available treatments – branded and generic – for chronic hepatitis B in China. The analysis, published today in PLOS ONE, quantifies the economic value and potential life-saving benefits of implementing a national treatment strategy in China.

The paper is also the first to provide cost thresholds, meaning the specific price point at which a particular drug would be cost-effective or offer cost-savings.

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Transgene Announces Dosing of First Patient with TG1050 for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis B Infection

Transgene SA (Paris:TNG) (Euronext: TNG) today announced that the first patient has been dosed in a clinical trial with its immunotherapy product candidate TG1050 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. This first-in-humans trial is an international, randomized, multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled safety and dose-finding study evaluating TG1050 in patients who are currently being treated for chronic HBV infection with standard-of-care antiviral therapy.

The primary objectives of the Phase 1/1b study are to evaluate the safety and tolerability of TG1050 administered in single and multiple doses and to determine the dose and schedule of TG1050 administration to bring forward for further development. Secondary objectives include evaluating the antiviral activity of and immune responses to TG1050. Patients in the trial will continue to be treated with standard antiviral therapy. The Phase 1 part of this trial is planned to enroll up to 48 patients.

“We are pleased to advance another of our internally discovered and developed immunotherapy product candidates into the clinic, demonstrating the capabilities and productivity of our R&D organization,” said Philippe Archinard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “With our programs, we seek to address major unmet medical needs in oncology and infectious diseases. More effective treatments are urgently needed for chronic hepatitis B, which can lead to severe liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.”


Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to Acquire HBV Therapy Development Company Novira Therapeutics

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) announced a definitive agreement to acquire Novira Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for curative treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The acquisition includes Novira's portfolio of novel antivirals, including its lead candidate, NVR 3-778. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

NVR 3-778 is a small molecule, direct acting antiviral, for oral administration in patients with HBV that inhibits the HBV core or capsid protein. HBV core is a novel and promising drug target since it is involved in multiple activities required for viral replication and persistence.

"We are excited about the prospect this acquisition offers to accelerate the development of curative treatments for people affected by chronic hepatitis B," said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Research & Development, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. "NVR 3-778 offers the potential for efficient suppression of virus production and replication, which could help address the remaining unmet medical needs."