by Wendy Rigby | KENS 5 |

SAN ANTONIO — South Texas patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have launched a petition to speed up development of some promising new drugs. They believe a pharmaceutical company is putting profits ahead of people.

Hepatitis C is a virus that attacks the liver. It’s the number one reason for liver transplants in the U.S. It kills more people than AIDS.

Margaret Dudley, 61, of San Antonio is a woman on a mission. More than a decade ago, she had permanent cosmetic tattooing. Last fall, she was tested for hepatitis C, a deadly disease she believes she contracted from the tattoos.

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Gilead, Bristol hepatitis C drugs show promise in clinical trial

Fox News | April 19th, 2012

A combination of experimental hepatitis C drugs from Gilead Sciences Inc and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co showed impressive results in new clinical trial data released on Thursday, helping fuel an 11 percent rise in Gilead shares.

Gilead’s GS-7977, acquired with its $11 billion purchase of Pharmasset, when combined with Bristol’s daclatasvir led to a 100 percent response rate in previously untreated patients with the most common form of hepatitis C, according to interim data from a mid-stage trial presented at a liver disease meeting in Europe.

The results were accomplished without interferon, an injected drug that causes flu-like symptoms and other side effects that often lead patients to discontinue or delay treatment, or ribavirin, an older antiviral drug that is also currently part of all treatment regimens.

Read more: Gilead, Bristol hepatitis C drugs show promise in clinical trial |

All-oral treatment with 24 weeks of daclatasvir, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s once-daily NS5a inhibitor, and GS-7977, Gilead’s once-daily nucleotide polymerase inhibitor—with or without ribavirin—kept hepatitis C virus (HCV) undetectable for four weeks after treatment in 100 percent of people with genotype 1 infection and 91 percent of people with genotype 2 and 3 infection, according to early study results presented Thursday, April 19, and the 47th Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) in Barcelona.

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Hepatitis verdict hits cosmetic firm ; It is believed to be the first U.S. case tying a business to the illness.

by Guillermo Contreras
Metro / South Texas

A Bexar County jury awarded a woman $551,600 Wednesday after finding she likely contracted hepatitis C from a San Antonio-area business that performs permanent cosmetic applications.

While medical studies have linked the often-fatal virus to tattoo parlors and related permanent cosmetic businesses, the lawsuit is believed to be the first time nationally that the issue has gone to trial, allowing a jury to make the link, state and national health experts said.

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