Twelve new cases of Ebola virus infection have been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, including 10 in the city of Beni. Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the DRC's minister of public health, said the city has been divided into 18 zones, each with its own health care response team.
A study in Peru found that while having any type of human papillomavirus was associated with greater risk of HIV co-infection, certain subtypes of HPV were most closely linked with greater risk, researchers reported in the journal PLOS ONE. The HPV subtypes most closely associated with HIV were HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 52 and 58.
The development of an effective hepatitis C vaccine is important for reaching the goal of controlling the virus, but it faces significant obstacles, according to a report in the journal Gastroenterology. "Vaccine strategies meant to overcome the enormous diversity of HCV must generate a broad immune response, capable of responding to abundant variations," the study team wrote.
Sanofi and Evotec will launch Evotec's fourth Biomedical Research, Innovation & Development Generation Efficiency, or BRIDGE, partnership, called LAB031, allowing the companies to collaborate with academic institutions on translational research projects in their early stages in unidentified disease areas that have high unmet medical needs. The partners did not disclose the value of this latest collaboration but said it would last for three years.
The FDA has approved expanded use of Roche's drug Hemlibra, or emicizumab-kxwh, to include newborns, children and adults with hemophilia A who are not resistant to factor replacement therapy. Hemlibra, which initially was approved for patients with factor VIII resistance or inhibitors, is the lone self-administered hemophilia A preventive treatment that can be injected subcutaneously once a week, every other week or once every four weeks.
Researchers reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings on a prognostic tool based on genetic and clinical factors for use in evaluating candidates for hematopoietic stem cell transplants as a treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome. The tool groups patients into four risk levels, and an analysis of data for 357 patients identified factors including karyotype and genetic abnormalities, among others.
FDA approval of Roche Holding's hemophilia drug Hemlibra, or emicizumab-kxwh, is anticipated by the pharma company this week. Roche says its findings that Hemlibra is a more effective treatment that requires less frequent administration than existing clotting factor regimens will allow it to wrest business away from companies such as Bayer, Novo Nordisk, Octapharma and Shire.
Researchers from Japan's Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine performed a review of data on hepatitis C drug Zepatier, or elbasvir/grazoprevir, and found the combination therapy was highly effective among patients with genotypes 1a, 1b and 4, with few limitations noted. The study was published online in the journal Drug Design, Development and Therapy.
Insecurity and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo have limited the mobility of public health teams responding to cases of Ebola virus infection, and Uganda and Rwanda are preparing for the possibility that the virus will spread over their borders. "Our whole strategy is based on knowing where the virus is, identifying cases, identifying contacts, contacts of contacts, isolation, vaccination, community education," said Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organization.
Gilead Sciences said a new subsidiary called Aseguea Therapeutics will market generic versions of its hepatitis C drugs Epclusa, or sofosbuvir/velpatasvir, and Harvoni, or sofosbuvir/ledipasvir, at a $24,000 list price starting in January 2019. "Launching these authorized generics is the best solution available to us today to quickly introduce a lower-priced alternative to our HCV medications without significant disruption to the healthcare system and our business," said Gilead President and CEO John Milligan.