New hep B medicine could be finished as early as 2015
By Joy Lee, The China Post
June 5, 2013, 12:10 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) yesterday announced that it is cooperating with a pharmaceutical factory to develop a new medicine aimed at curing hepatitis B virus carriers, noting that the medicine may be completed by as early as 2015.
Taiwan University College of Medicine professor and Academia Sinica member Chen Ding-shinn (陳定信) said current medications used to treat hepatitis only stop the virus from reproducing.
“The cooperation between the NTUH and the pharmaceutical factory will focus on curing hepatitis B virus carriers,” Chen said, “and ensure the effectiveness and safety of the new medicine.”
“Results in the development phase of the new medicine have so far been positive, which means hepatitis B could be completely cured in the future. However, it might take longer to get the new medicine on the market,” said Chen.
Chen Pei-jer (陳培哲), a professor at National Taiwan University College of Medicine Graduate Institute of Clinic Medicine, said the greatest challenge so far for researchers of hepatitis B treatment is that current medicines only restrain the virus instead of killing it.
“According to initial research,” Chen Pei-jer said, “a certain compound has the ability to wipe out the hepatitis B virus.”
Chen Pei-jer said that the NTUH has a great hepatitis B evaluation system and database while the pharmaceutical factory can provide a hepatitis B medicine that is different, so in light of this the cooperation represents a great opportunity to develop a new medicine that will benefit hepatitis B virus carriers.
According to statistics from the Bureau of National Health Insurance (NHI), there are around 2.4 million hepatitis B virus carriers in Taiwan and at least 12,000 people die from liver disease annually.
The NHI's statistics also showed that liver disease medicine was the best-selling medicine in Taiwan last year and the annual cost of medicine to treat hepatitis B is NT$2 billion.
Chen Ding-shinn noted that although hepatitis B vaccines started 29 years ago, there remain many hepatitis B virus carriers in Taiwan that should receive treatment.
Through the free screening provided by the Bureau of Health Promotion, Chen Ding-shinn said, more hepatitis B virus carriers can receive regular checkups as part of decreasing the risks related to suffering from liver cancer.
I am happy to hear that its coming from an asian country this time. This will fuel more urgency as hep b is endemic in SEA countries. I have trust in the researchers and doctors in asia that they really want to cure hep b, and not to profit from it. Anyone with more information on this new treatment, pls post. Tks!!
By curing, the curing drug company would make plenty. Conspiracy or not, it's any company best interest to look for a cure. Obviously the subscription dollar would be gone but the human race need this for evolution.
The following is the abstract of talk by Pei-Jer Chen at APASL on this coming Sunday- REP9AC is not mentioned.
Potential New Treatment Target for Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis Reseach Center, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C.
Currentl treamtments for chronic hepatitis B have improved the clinical outcomes of CHB patients. anti-viral Nucs satisfactorily suppress viral replication and prevent the subsequent new rounds of HBV infection in the liver. Interferon augments the host immune responses and occaionally achieves durable viral control or even eradication. However, the likelyhood of current therapies is still deemed low in removing HBV cccDNA or in clearing HBsAg. New therapies targets to viral or host molecules other than viral polymerase are actively explored. Peptides or antibodies effectively preventing HBV infection have been developed and even in early phase clinical trials. Small molecules in disrupting HBV capsid formation also showed some promising progress. New cytokines or small molecules controlling or degrading cccDNA are actively explored. Finally, the potent immuno-enhancers, such as TLR 4/7/9 agonists, have domenstrated signficant anti-HBV acitivities in the relevant animal models. These new progresses will pave the way for the next generation anti-HBV therapies aiming to curative therapies.
Dr. Pei-Jer Chen, National Taiwan University College of Medicine , Taipei , Taiwan R.O.C.
Assigned in sessions:
09.06.2013, 10:30-12:00, Clinical Tracks (CT), CT 3-2, Novel Treatments and Emerging Strategies for Chronic Hepatitis B, Hall 2
I don't think there is a drug candidate yet. I have a look around with Google. I believe the pharmaceutical company is Janssen Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. They are co-operating to find possible drug candidates.
The article quoted this:
"“Results in the development phase of the new medicine have so far been positive, which means hepatitis B could be completely cured in the future. However, it might take longer to get the new medicine on the market,” said Chen. "
If there was no product on the radar screen at all, this statement would seem to be a grossly premature. Credibilty would be at stake, I guess.
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