A new experimental drug may be the cure for hepatitis C (HCV). A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine said the experimental drug in question has cured 95 percent of those infeced with HCV.
The new drug is an oral drug that was tested on 380 patients at 78 centers throughout Germany, Spain, England and the United States. The studies were conducted in both 12 and 24 week trials. Almost 92 percent of the patients involved in the 12 week study had no remaining traces of the HCV virus in their bloodstream while the 24 week trial showed closer to 96 percent of patients having no traces.
Due to the success, the drug is expected to be made commercially available sometime in late 2014 or early 2015.
Up until now, interferon had been a common treatment for those with hepatitis C but it wasn’t nearly as effective and had it’s own negative side effects that went along with it.
“These are out-of-the-ballpark response rates, not on the same planet as interferon. The reason this study is so profound is because interferon is not tolerated nor is it safe in many people with cirrhosis. Many of the patients with cirrhosis in this study were not even eligible to be treated with interferon,” said Dr. Fred Poordad, M.D., lead author on the study in a statement.
Hepatitis C is a blood borne illness that effects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, it is the leading cause of liver degeneration and liver cancer. The virus currently kills up to 10,000 people every year in the U.S. alone.
Cure for Hepatitis C found?