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: Ebola mistakes should serve a lesson says WHO

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

Ebola mistakes should serve a lesson says WHO

14 hours ago

The World Health Organization's chief admitted on Sunday that the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve as a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future.

British Ebola nurse discharged from hospital

21 hours ago

A British nurse who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone said she was "happy to be alive" as she was discharged from hospital on Saturday having made a full recovery.

Tide turning in Ebola fight after hard lessons

Jan 24, 2015

A top U.N. official in the fight against Ebola greeted just three patients at one treatment center he visited this week in Sierra Leone. Families in Liberia are no longer required to cremate the remains of ...

Just five Ebola cases left in Liberia: UN

Jan 24, 2015

The United Nations said on Saturday Liberia was dealing with just five remaining cases of Ebola, in the clearest sign yet that the country is nearing the end of the outbreak.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.