Trek Therapeutics Looks to Launch New HCV Regimen by 2020

Trek Therapeutics pic

Trek Therapeutics

Formerly the group director of virology at Connecticut-based Bristol-Myers Squibb, Robert Hindes, MD, now works at Trek Therapeutics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he serves as the chief medical officer. A co-founder of the company, Robert Hindes, MD, helps oversee Trek Therapeutics’ mission of treating undiagnosed hepatitis C worldwide.

Trek Therapeutics has an ambitious goal – to unveil a new cure for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) within the next two years. The company is targeting Mexico and countries in Central and Eastern Europe. These countries have a difficult time accessing traditional HCV treatments because they lie in the “middle-income” area and aren’t eligible for drastically reduced prices for medicine that are made available in impoverished areas.

Trek Therapeutics is working to develop an affordable regiment that does not produce the liver issues (damage, failure, cancer) that the current crop of drugs can cause. In its flagship trial, Trek Therapeutics was able to cure all the patients who took part in its new regimen, and the company is confident it will be ready to roll out the new treatment by 2020.


Contracting the Hepatitis C Virus

Hepatitis C Virus pic

Hepatitis C Virus

Robert Hindes, MD, started his career as an infectious diseases consultant at Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital in Connecticut. A co-founder of Trek Therapeutics, Robert Hindes, MD, now oversees the development of medicines to treat several acute and chronic viral infections.

Trek Therapeutics primary current focus is on treatments for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The risk of contracting HCV can be reduced with common sense preventative measures:

1. Avoid exposure to blood. HCV usually spreads when the blood of an infected person enters the bloodstream of an uninfected individual. Individuals who work in the medical profession should wear protective clothing and gear that minimize the chance of direct contact with blood or body fluids.

2. Refrain from sharing personal care products. Razors and toothbrushes may spread the infection through razor cuts or bleeding gums. Even a small amount of blood can infect another person, so individuals should use their own personal care products.

3. Practice safe sex. 

4. Make sure that tattoos and piercings are administered by experienced practitioners using sterilized instruments. Tattoo and piercing parlors that fail to follow appropriate sanitary procedures can spread HCV through the use of contaminated needles. Conduct thorough research on parlors before you get a tattoo or piercing, and make sure the artist you choose can produce his or her license.

How Does Hepatitis C Spread?


Trek Therapeutics pic

Trek Therapeutics

Robert Hindes, MD, has been engaged in clinical research in infectious diseases and virology for almost 3 decades. Starting with clinical, bench, and animal research during his fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Robert Hindes, MD, continued conducting research at Danbury Hospital, Bristol Myers Squibb, Pharmasset, and Gilead. He is currently based in Massachusetts, where he serves as the cofounder and chief medical officer of Trek Therapeutics.

Founded in 2014, Trek Therapeutics is a public benefit corporation that develops treatments for infectious diseases. Recently, the firm completed a Phase 2a randomized, double-blind trial investigating the combination of faldaprevir QD with TD-6450 QD plus ribavirin BID that achieved SVR4 in all subjects with genotype 4 HCV.

HCV, or hepatitis C virus, causes an infection of the liver that often leads to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. The condition, which currently affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States, spreads when HCV-infected blood enters the bloodstream of a healthy person. Typically, HCV is spread through sharing needles, medical procedures with unsterilized equipment, and through unprotected sex between men. The virus may also spread during heterosexual sex or when toothbrushes, nail clippers, or razors are shared.

Examining the Causes of Hepatitis C


Hepatitis C pic

Hepatitis C

Robert Hindes, MD, served as the group director of virology at Bristol-Myers Squibb, which is based in Wallingford, Connecticut, prior to taking in his role as the chief medical officer of Trek Therapeutics. Focusing on the development of affordable hepatitis C (HCV) drugs that are accessible to the largest possible audience, Robert Hindes, MD, oversees the development of all clinical strategies employed by Trek Therapeutics.

A viral condition, HCV is transmitted when a person comes into contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of somebody who carries the infection. Blood, however, is the main transmitter, as even small traces of it are capable of passing on the infection. Some believe the virus is capable of surviving in blood outside of the human body for a number of weeks in areas that remain at room temperature.

The predominant cause of the infection is the sharing of needles by drug users; for instance, the NHS, the United Kingdom’s public health service, estimates the practice to be the cause of around 90 percent of infections in that country. Less common causes include unprotected sex, particularly amongst people who have other sexually transmitted infections such as genital sores or HIV. There is also the potential for HCV to be passed to others if items that come into contact with blood (such as tattoo equipment, needles, razors, and scissors) have not been properly sterilized before use.

There is also an estimated 5 percent chance that the infection can be passed from mother to child, though it is believed that this cannot occur through breastfeeding.