Robert Hindes, MD, is the Chief Medical Officer of Trek Therapeutics, a company with a mission to develop effective and safe treatments for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and deliver them to patients at affordable rates. Prior to co-founding Trek, Robert Hindes, MD, was in charge of the clinical development program at Pharmasset, a company purchased by Gilead Sciences in 2012.
HCV often spreads through blood-to-blood contact, such as through transfusions, the shared use of unsterilized needles, or the use of poorly sanitized medical equipment. Fortunately, it is possible to treat HCV with a combination of drugs, and newly approved drug regimens have achieved a greater than 90 percent cure rate. All forms of hepatitis attack the liver, but HCV is of particular concern since most infected individuals develop chronic infection. Left untreated, it may cause cirrhosis, hepatic failure, and liver cancer. HCV affects an estimated 130 million to 150 million people worldwide, and according to the World Health Organization, approximately 500,000 HCV-related deaths occur every year.