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Experimental
hepatitis C drug shows promise

Experimental
hepatitis C drug shows promise

Experimental hepatitis C treatment could help suppress viral levels

Drug firm Vertex Pharmaceuticals this week reported that its experimental hepatitis C treatment VX-950 shows promise in helping to treat the disease. A mid-stage clinical trial showed that the drug, when used in combination with standard hepatitis C treatments ribavirin and pegylated interferon, reduced blood-based viral loads to undetectable levels in all 12 of the study volunteers after just 28 days of treatment. After three more months of treatment, 11 of the 12 maintained undetectable viral loads.

Health officials believe as many as 4 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, and it is a common coinfection among HIV-positive adults. AIDS experts estimate that as many as 30% of all U.S. HIV patients--and anywhere from 50% to 90% of HIV-positive injection-drug users--are coinfected with hepatitis C. (The Advocate)

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