Chronic Hepatitis C Treatment
Robert Hindes, MD, co-founded Trek Therapeutics in 2014 and serves as the pharmaceutical company’s chief medical officer. At Trek, Robert Hindes, MD, has focused his efforts on developing affordable therapies for patients with chronic hepatitis C.
For many people living with hepatitis C (HCV), dealing with the disease itself is only part of the struggle. Treatments exist for most genotypes of HCV, but these therapies are so expensive and so hard to access that many patients cannot obtain the medical care they need.
Historically, HCV therapies that included interferon required long durations of treatment, brought debilitating side effects, and cured fewer than half the patients who received drug therapy. Many patients avoided treatment because of the side effects and relatively low cure rate of the drug combinations available. Now that safer and more effective treatments are available, many patients cannot afford or have no access to the newer HCV drugs. Pharmaceutical companies and patient advocate groups have recently begun to work together to find a solution for this problem. However, it is likely that access to affordable and effective drug therapies will continue to be unavailable to a large number of patients for at least the next several years, and it is hoped that the drugs being developed by Trek will help to address this unmet medical need.
Robert Hindes, MD, is a specialist in infectious diseases. As part of his role leading development of HCV medications for Pharmasset and BMS, he developed studies evaluating sofosbuvir as a treatment for hepatitis C.
There are two forms of hepatitis C: acute and chronic. Acute hepatitis C occurs within half a year of exposure to the virus. The acute form lasts for a short while before either clearing up or becoming the chronic version. There is a 75 to 85 percent chance of acute hepatitis C becoming chronic. Chronic hepatitis C is usually a lifelong disease, although in a small percentage of patients. it may spontaneously clear. In some patients, chronic hepatitis leads to liver cancer or cirrhosis.
While there is currently no vaccination for either form of hepatitis C, drugs that suppress the growth of the virus help some patients. There is no proven effective treatment for acute hepatitis C, but effective treatments with anti-viral therapies have been approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C . These treatments are usually administered by a hepatologist, or by an infectious disease expert, such as Robert Hindes, MD.
Robert Hindes, MD, a New Jersey-based infectious disease specialist, recently authored two new papers on the use of Daclatasvir for the treatment of patients who suffer from hepatitis C. The first paper, “Daclatasvir for previously untreated chronic hepatitis C genotype-1 infection: a randomised, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-finding, phase 2a trial
,” appeared in the September 2012 edition of The Lancet: Infectious Diseases. Dr. Hindes and his fellow researchers studied 48 patients in France and the United States. They divided the patients into four groups and gave them 3 different doses of the drug Daclatasvir or placebo plus pegylated interferon and ribavirin. The double-blind study suggested that regimens which included 10 or 60mg of Daclatasvir achieved high rates of eRVR.
In the second study, published in the journal Liver Transplantation, Robert Hindes, MD, and his colleagues discussed the case of a patient whose hepatitis C recurred after a liver transplant. In the article, “Case report of successful peginterferon, ribavirin, and daclatasvir therapy for recurrent cholestatic hepatitis C after liver retransplantation,” researchers discussed the medical history of a 49-year-old woman with severe recurrent hepatitis C post-transplant. They found that adding daclatasvir to pegylated interferon and ribavirn achieved sustained viral eradication with no significant drug-drug interactions. Abstracts of both of Dr. Hindes’s new papers may be found on the federal government’s PubMed website.