Navigation Links
Eltrombopag effective for hepatitis C patients with low blood-platelet counts

NEW YORK (Dec. 28, 2007) -- For patients with hepatitis C, having a low blood platelet count is a frequent complication associated with advanced disease. This problem is compounded by the fact that standard antiviral treatment for the disease can further reduce platelet numbers to dangerously low levels, effectively denying these patients the treatment they urgently need. Now, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that a new drug, eltrombopag, appears to significantly boost platelet counts, opening the door to effective treatment.

"In this study, eltrombopag increased platelet counts in a dose-dependent manner, allowing more patients to complete the first 12 weeks of antiviral therapy -- an important treatment goal," says Dr. Samuel Sigal, who led the study at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City -- one of 22 study sites.

Dr. Sigal is assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Weill Cornell Medical College and assistant attending hepatologist in the Center for Liver Diseases and Transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

The Phase 2 placebo-controlled study followed 74 patients with low platelet counts and cirrhosis of the liver due to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Seventy-four percent of those randomized to take the lowest dose (30 milligrams daily) saw their platelet counts go up significantly, while 79 percent and 95 percent of the participants saw increases with the higher doses (50 or 75 milligrams daily, respectively). And, 12 weeks of antiviral therapy were completed by 36, 53 and 65 percent of patients at the three dose levels -- with increased numbers matched to the size of the dose. Underlining the trend, less than a quarter of patients receiving placebo completed their therapy.

The study identified side effects -- including headaches, dry mouth, abdominal pain and nausea. None were serious enough to discontinue the therapy.

It's estimated that 4 million people in the U.S. and 170 million worldwide carry the hepatitis C virus. HCV is transmitted primarily by blood and blood products. The majority of infected individuals have either received blood transfusions prior to 1990 (when screening of the blood supply for HCV was implemented) or have used intravenous drugs. More rarely, it can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse and perinatally (mother to baby).

The virus causes inflammation and scarring in the liver, and while it is curable in about half of those who have it, it can lead to significant liver damage, liver cancer and death in others. HCV infection is a common cause of cirrhosis and the most common reason for a liver transplant.

With other eltrombopag findings, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell's Dr. James Bussel led research, also reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, finding the platelet growth factor successfully increased platelet counts and decreased bleeding in patients with Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease that dramatically reduces the number of platelets in their blood. (Dr. Bussel is an Advisory Board Member for GlaxoSmithKline; has received research grant support, lecture fees, and consulting fees from GlaxoSmithKline; and reports equity ownership in the company.)

The current study was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, which is developing eltrombopag. Eltrombopag (marketed as Promacta in the U.S. and Revolade in Europe) is an investigational oral, non-peptide platelet growth factor that induces the proliferation and differentiation of cells to produce platelets. While other drugs that restore normal platelet functions are infusions or injections, eltrombopag is a once-a-day pill.

The study's principal investigator was Dr. John McHutchison, of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, N.C. Additional participating institutions included Royal Free Hospital, London; Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond; Fundacin de Investigacin de Diego, San Juan; Hopital St. Joseph, Marseille; Henry Ford Hospital and Health System, Detroit; GlaxoSmithKline; and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.

Contact: Andrew Klein
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College

Related biology news :

1. Gamma globulin effective in treating eye infections caused by adenoviruses
2. UC health news: molecular pathway may predict chemotherapy effectiveness
3. Socioeconomic position associated with effectiveness of HIV drugs
4. New nanoparticle vaccine is more effective but less expensive
5. MIT model could improve some drugs effectiveness
6. Trial seeks genetic fingerprint for predicting drug effectiveness
7. New hope for horse lovers as effective control for killer ragwort is proposed
8. Quantitative PET imaging finds early determination of effectiveness of cancer treatment
9. Gene, stem cell therapy only needs to be 50 percent effective to create a healthy heart
10. Tamiflu effective for treatment and prevention of influenza in children 1 year and older
11. Safe and effective therapy discovered for patients with protein-losing enteropathy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort ... variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting ... from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by Type ... Others), Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, Home ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... expected to reach USD 26.76 Billion by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, ... 1 clinical trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, ... and multiple ascending dose studies designed to assess ... of subcutaneous injection in healthy adult volunteers. ... either as a single dose (ranging from 45 ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Andrew D ... Published recently in ... from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses ... care is placing an increasing burden on healthcare ... therapies. With the patents on many biologics expiring, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated ... will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 ... on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division of ... and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing Technology ... among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and distribution, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: