Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

HepCgen genotyping service helps fight Hepatitis C, a "silent epidemic"

22.07.2003


Genotyping provides route to tailored treatment at lower cost with less side effects

A new centralised genotyping service that enables clinicians to differentiate between types of hepatitis C infections is poised to improve treatment for patients with Hepatitis C, a severely under treated viral infection in the UK. The new service, available through HepCgen will allow clinicians to tailor costly interferon-based treatment regimes to the patients’ viral genotype, thus lowering costs and side effects.

Although five times more prevalent than HIV, most cases of Hepatitis C go undetected, prompting the phrase ‘the silent epidemic’, therefore it is important that, once identified, diagnosis and treatment commence without delay. “HepCgen’s centralised Hepatitis C genotyping service allows hospitals throughout the UK extremely rapid access to this important information, without the need for an expensive and time consuming in-house genotyping set up”, said Paul Colford, CEO of HepCgen.



Through early identification of patients with genotype 1, or non-1, HepCgen is able to distinguish patients that may require lower doses for shorter periods of time. This knowledge not only has obvious benefits to the patient by reducing medication and associated side effects, but also provides a significant cost saving to healthcare funders: HepCgen founder Dr William Rosenberg estimates a saving to the NHS of half a billion pounds a year if doctors routinely use this service.

HepCgen regards cost of treatment as a significant factor in the number of patients undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C and Dr Rosenberg notes, “Of the 400,000 cases in the UK only about 20,000-30,000 are in secondary care and of those, only some 2,000 cases are being treated, because the NHS won’t release funding for treatment.”

Further evidence of the importance placed on genotyping in the treatment of hepatitis C came with Roche’s announcement on 18th July of the European Commission’s approval of a new label for PEGASYS, Roche’s flagship treatment for the hepatitis C virus. The approval came as a result of a pivotal study by Roche, demonstrating that the duration of combination therapy and dose of Copegus (ribavirin) for chronic hepatitis C patients depends on viral genotype. Dr. Rosenberg continues, “We have demonstrated similar data with the Schering-Plough therapy, among others. The importance of identifying genotype in the treatment of Hepatitis C is becoming rapidly accepted. This recognition by the European Commission is strong additional testimony.”

“HepCgen currently provides its proprietary services to over 20 centres in the UK, most of which are reimbursed by the major pharmaceutical companies involved in Hepatitis C”, stated Mr Colford. “We would like to expand our services throughout Europe, as countries like Italy, Germany, and France are treating over five times the number of patients the UK chooses to, and will tremendously benefit by either using HepCgen services or licensing this technology. ”

HepCgen Ltd was recently spun out of the University of Southampton and specialises in diagnostics and treatments for chronic liver disease. Dr. Spike Willcocks, IP2IPO adds, “HepCgen is a very exciting opportunity in our portfolio, whose technology meets a now widely recognised medical need, and this step demonstrates the increasing value of the Company. Further development in this area could be rapidly accelerated with additional financing in the near future.”

For more information, please contact:

At the company

Paul Colford, CEO HepCgen Ltd, paul.colford@hepcgen.com
Dr William Rosenberg, wmr@soton.ac.uk

Media enquiries

Dr. Spike Willcocks, IP2IPO, spike.wilcocks@ip2ipo.com
Sue Charles, Northbank Communications, s.charles@northbankcommunications.com
James Parkinson, Northbank Communications, j.parkinson@northbankcommunications.com

Louise Johnson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.hepcgen.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>