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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of September 10, 2017


#5: HIV Infection Rates Remain High in Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals of Color in US

Many advancements have been seen in the fight against HIV in the past 35 years. Recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that the work that the health care community has been doing has paid off, resulting in a 10% decrease in the number of new infections between 2010 and 2014. This might lead some to believe that the community should continue with the status quo in action, citing the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, with a new political climate and much work that still needs to be done in the field, one pharmaceutical company, Gilead, is calling for an overall rethink of how the healthcare community is currently responding to the HIV epidemic.

Entitled, “REIMAGINE: Reset. Refuel. Retool,” the Gilead-sponsored Plenary Luncheon at the 21st Annual United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) in Washington, DC, on Friday, September 8, 2017 featured a myriad of speakers presenting their thoughts on how the community can reimagine its response.

One such speaker, Derrick Butler, MD, MPH, Associate Medical Director, from the T.H.E. Health and Wellness Centers who practices in South Central Los Angeles, California, focused his presentation on the individuals of color who are at highest risk of acquiring HIV. 

Read more about Dr. Butler's presentation, here

#4: Janssen Halts HCV Drug Development & Turns Efforts Towards Fighting HBV

Due to an increasing rate of available and effective therapies for hepatitis C virus hitting the market, Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals company Janssen announced a strategic decision to discontinue the development of the investigational HCV treatment, JNJ-4178, a triple-combination drug, consisting of three direct-acting antivirals (DAAs).

The drug in question — an amalgamation of AL-335, odalasvir and simeprevir — was undergoing phase 2 studies at the time of Janssen's decision.

Instead, the company's research and development efforts will be put towards fighting chronic hepatitis B (HBV), Lawrence M. Blatt, PhD, Janssen's Global Therapeutic Area Head of Infectious Disease Therapeutics, said. There are no medications currently available to treat acute HBV infection, which underscores the need for new, effective drugs to battle the virus.

Read more about Janssen's strategic decision, here.

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