Mongolia’s liver cancer crisis: ‘No other country has a problem like this’

Cirrhosis and liver cancer cause 15% of all deaths in Mongolia. Now the government is waking up to the issue – and tackling the hepatitis that triggers it. Danzan Purev beams as he shows members of a support group photos of his infant nephew on his iPhone. The 68-year-old geologist is charismatic and jokes with the others gathered in the room in Ulan Bator. But his mood changes as he begins to recount his long experience with hepatitis, a disease that has

Benitec and Biotron in the race for $3.5b Hepatitis B market

Chronic Hepatitis B, a currently incurable disease, is attracting growing attention among international biotechs. The World Health Organisation estimates 257 million people live with Hep B and up to 900,000 die each year from related diseases such as liver cancer and cirrhosis. In Australia, more than 232,000 people have chronic hepatitis B, according to lobby group Hepatitis Australia. “Deaths from primary liver cancer have been climbing faster tha

Transgene‘s Hepatitis B Vaccine Does the Business at Phase I

The French biotech‘s hepatitis B vaccine has demonstrated good efficacy and safety, suggesting it could provide effective protection from the virus. Biotech veteran, Transgene, specializes in viral-based immunotherapies for cancers and infectious diseases. One of its targets, hepatitis B, is a potentially fatal liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Today, it has announced that its vaccine candidate, TG1050, has demonstrated good efficacy

The Week in Review: September 29 – October 6, 2017

Friday, October 6, 2017 News Recap: Liver Cancer Two studies on liver cancer in the news last week highlighted the global prevalence and causes of this terrible disease.  The first showed a direct correlation between excess weight and cancer occurrence (including liver cancer) – Cancers linked to excess weight make up 40% of all US diagnoses, study finds, while the second focussed on the global incidence of primary liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus wa...

Liver cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide

Primary liver cancer incidence increased by 75% between 1990 and 2015, and the disease remains one of the leading causes of cancer death in the world, according to a report from the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2015. Further, hepatitis B virus was the leading cause of new cases of liver cancer in 2015, the research showed. The highest rates of liver cancer incidence, disability-adjusted life-years and mortality occurred in East Asia. Japan had 75% o

Vivek Ramaswamy’s Roivant backs Arbutus’ hepatitis B program

With hepatitis C virus starting to look like a conquered foe, attention is turning to the fight against chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV), and Vivek Ramaswamy’s Roivant has just put another sizable block of cash behind a program in development at Canada’s Arbutus Biopharma. The $116 million share purchase deal comes on the heels of positive phase 2 data for Arbutus’ lead HBV candidate ARB-1467, which suggest the gene-silencing drug can further reduce hepati

Reactivation Rate of Hepatitis B in Inflammatory Arthritis Tx With DMARDs

It's not only DAAs than can reactivate HBV. In patients with inflammatory arthritis receiving disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), rates of hepatitis B (HBV) reactivation differ between those whose disease is resolved and those with chronic HBV infection. Findings from the systematic review and meta-analysis were published in Arthritis Care & Research (Hoboken). Patients with chronic HBV generally have a 5-fold to 8-fold higher risk for HBV

The Week in Review: September 22 – September 29, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017 News Recap: Merck discontinues HCV programs. There were rumours, but now it’s official: Merck has announced that it will discontinue the development of the investigational combination regimens MK-3682B (grazoprevir/ruzasvir/uprifosbuvir) and MK-3682C (ruzasvir/uprifosbuvir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In a statement the company said the decision was made based on a review of available Pha...

Hepatitis B (HBV) Patients & Caregivers – Your Help Requested re Vemlidy

Do you have HEPATITIS B or are you a CAREGIVER for someone with HBV? This is really important for you! An improved hepatitis B treatment will likely be available to Canadians soon, but first the federal government has requested us to submit a patient group review to them (CADTH) explaining whether hepatitis B patients want this new treatment, and why. What is the new hepatitis B treatment? It is tenofovir alafenamide or TAF (brand name VemlidyTM) made by

The Week in Review: September 15 – September 22, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017 News Recap: Access to Treatment: This was a good week in terms of treatment access (but not, unfortunately, in terms of weather or seismic activity: How very, very sad).  Imagine being sick or on treatment in one of these stricken areas! In Canada Epclusa was approved for use in persons co-infected with HIV. This is very good news. Gilead Receives Approval in Canada for Expanded Indication of EPCLUSA® (Sofosbuvir/Velpat...