Researchers Find New Treatment for Hepatitis C

Apr 11, 2008

Researchers at the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center have found a new use for an old drug. Their findings appear online in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

The drug, Fluvastatin, has been approved since 1993 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of elevated cholesterol in adults. Millions of patients have taken Fluvastatin for cholesterol without difficulty.

In a study of 31 veterans at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Oklahoma City, researchers found that Fluvastatin significantly lowered the viral load, or levels of hepatitis C virus, for up to six weeks when used alone.

“This research is the first to demonstrate the antiviral activity of Fluvastatin in human beings infected with hepatitis C, most of whom were non-responders to the standard of care treatment,” said Ted Bader, M.D., the principle investigator on the project and director of liver diseases at the OU Health Sciences Center.

Since Fluvastatin will not completely clear the hepatitis C virus by itself, researchers have started a phase II randomized, controlled trial that combines Fluvastatin with the standard treatment of peg-interferon and ribavirin. They hope to use the combination of medicines to significantly improve the cure rate for hepatitis C. After further required testing and approval, the drug could be available as a new treatment for hepatitis C far sooner than any other anti-hepatitis C drug currently under research and development.

Nationwide, 2 percent of Americans (about 4 million) are infected with chronic hepatitis C, which is four times the number of patients infected with HIV. Chronic hepatitis C is often asymptomatic and can lead to progressive liver disease.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: American Ebola doc: 'I am thrilled to be alive'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New treatment for hepatitis C

May 14, 2008

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have found a new use for an old drug. Their findings appear online in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Recommended for you

Nigeria confirms two new Ebola cases

5 hours ago

Two new cases of Ebola have emerged in Nigeria and, in an alarming development, they are outside the group of caregivers who treated an airline passenger who arrived with Ebola and died, Health Minister Onyebuchi ...

Senegal closes border as UN warns on Ebola flare-up

10 hours ago

Senegal has become the latest country to seal its border with a west African neighbour to ward off the deadly Ebola virus, as the new UN pointman on the epidemic said preparations must be made for a possible flare-up of the ...

Climate change could see dengue fever come to Europe

10 hours ago

Dengue fever could make headway in popular European holiday destinations if climate change continues on its predicted trajectory, according to research published in open access journal BMC Public Health.

American Ebola doc: 'I am thrilled to be alive'

18 hours ago

Calling it a "miraculous day," an American doctor infected with Ebola left his isolation unit and warmly hugged his doctors and nurses on Thursday, showing the world that he poses no public health threat ...

User comments : 0