Top 5 Contagion&reg News Articles for the Week of June 11, 2017


New drugs for HIV, the growing rate of antibiotic resistance, a new hepatitis C treatment option, and updates on the Ebola outbreak and Lyme disease diagnostics, make up the Top 5 articles for this week.

#5: Gilead Submits NDA for HIV Combo Therapy & More New Antibiotics Show Positive Results in Trials: Business Watch Report

This week’s Contagion® Business Watch Report includes the latest on Gilead’s new drug application (NDA) for their fixed-dose combination treatment, results of Janssen’s Phase 2b Trial for pimodivir, access to data presented at ASM Microbe 2017 from Spero Therapeutics on their new antibiotics, new product enhancements released by Clorox, and news that TECHLAB has received FDA 510(K) clearance to market their E. HISTOLYTICA QUIK CHEK™ Test.

Read the full report here.

#4: The Scary Reality Behind WHO's Updated Essential Medicines List

On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a revision to their Essential Medicines List (EML). The EML has been around for roughly 40 years and has several sections; however, this announcement marked the biggest revision for the antibiotic section.

Currently in its 20th edition, the previous edition of the EML was released in 2015. Each EML includes two sections—one for adults and one for children. The WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (or EML) is considered a core list of the most basic medicines needed for a healthcare system to meet the minimum needs for basic patient are. The purpose of the EML is truly to provide a laundry list of medicines that are required for basic patient care and the WHO takes care to prioritize them according to efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness. The list is also developed based on priority health conditions that “are selected on the basis of current and estimated future public health relevance.”

More on the implications of the updated EML is available here.

#3: New Hepatitis C Treatment Option Available for Patients Who Failed DAA Therapy

In a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, lead investigator Marc Bourliere, MD, from the Hospital Saint Joseph in Marseilles, and his colleagues conducted 2 phase 3 clinical trials to explore treatment options for those chronically infected with hepatitis C (HCV) who have had no success with direct-acting antiviral therapy (DAA) therapy.

HCV is the causative agent of hepatitis and can result in both acute as well as chronic infections. In those infected with HCV, 15 to 45% will develop an acute infection which may clear within 6 months without treatment. However, 55% to 85% of HCV-infected patients will develop a chronic HCV infection. The World Health Organization estimates that 71 million people are currently infected with HCV. Treatment with highly effective DAA is now the standard of care for HCV. Treatment with DAAs has been shown to be very efficacious, leading to a sustained viral response (SVR) in most patients. However, for patients that do not respond positively to treatment with DAAs, there is currently no approved retreatment option.

Learn more about the new hepatitis C treatment option here.

#2: New Study Provides Clues on How Ebola Spreads While Outbreak in DRC Remains Under Control

Researchers from Tulane University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center may have found the answer to why the Ebola virus spread so rapidly during the outbreak of 2014-2015. It seems a small protein in the virus may be to blame. According to their research, recently published in the Journal of Virology, the protein, known as a viroporin, is “damaging host cells by making the membranes more permeable.” The researchers have identified this viroporin to be the “delta peptide,” and this compound is “produced in large amounts in Ebola virus-infected patients,” according to Tulane’s press release on the research.

Read coverage of the study and the latest update on the Ebola outbreak here.

#1: CDC Provides Updates on Lyme Disease Diagnostics

In a recent webinar, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fort Collins, Colorado, provided updates on Lyme disease diagnostics.

According to Martin Schriefer, PhD, one of the challenges of diagnosing Lyme disease is in the lack of pathognomonic features associated with the disease, which increases the need for effective laboratory testing methods. The small number of spirochetes in a clinical sample also poses a challenge, he said, thus increasing the need for an amplification step (of either the disease marker or causative organism) in the testing method. These amplification steps may involve techniques such as polymerase chain reaction or microbial culture, for example.

More on the CDC’s updates for Lyme disease diagnostics here.

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