London, UK, Wednesday 9 April 2014: The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) will this week be announcing new on-line recommendations on the management of hepatitis C (HCV) at the International Liver Congress™ (ILC). These EASL recommendations reflect the approval of three new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) during 2014 by the European Medicines Agency.
It is estimated that approximately 185 million people are infected with HCV on a global scale, with approximately 150 million people living with chronic infection. In Europe, between 7.3 million and 8.8 million people are infected with HCV and approximately 3-4 million people become newly infected each year.
Three new HCV DAAs that are more efficacious and better-tolerated, will be on the European market in the first half of 2014, for use as part of combination therapies for HCV infection. Sofosbuvir, a nucleotide analogue inhibitor of HCV ribonucleic acid (RNA)-dependent RNA polymerase, was approved in January 2014. Simeprevir, a second-wave, first-generation NS3/4A protease inhibitor will be approved in May 2014. Daclatasvir, an NS5A inhibitor, is likely to be approved in August or September 2014.
Coordinator of the recommendations and Director of the French National Reference Centre for Viral Hepatitis Professor Jean-Michel Pawlotsky said: "Since EASL published the HCV Clinical Practice Guidelines in 2013, the treatment paradigm for HCV has changed with three additional direct-acting antivirals - sofosbuvir, simeprevir and daclatasvir –scheduled for approval this year for use in patients infected with HCV genotype 1."
"These groundbreaking drugs continue to revolutionise treatment for HCV patients, including those who failed to respond to previous therapies. The new on-line recommendations provide essential information on the recommended use of these new compounds with and without interferon to help prescribers deliver optimal care for their HCV patients."
Based on a systematic review of existing literature, the new recommendations provide best practice on a number of key areas:
- Indications for treatment: who should be treated?
- Available drugs (approved by EMA before the end of 2014)
- Treatment of chronic hepatitis C
- Treatment monitoring
- Measures to improve treatment adherence
- Post-treatment follow-up of patients who achieve an SVR
- Retreatment of non-sustained virological responders
- Treatment of patients with severe liver disease
- Treatment of special groups
Commenting on the new on-line recommendations, EASL Governing Board member and recommendation panel member Dr. Alessio Aghemo said: "These new EASL on-line recommendations on the management of HCV reflect how the treatment landscape has evolved for this disease, and will further help physicians and other healthcare providers optimise management of patients with acute and chronic HCV."
The new EASL on-line HCV management recommendations will be presented during a session at the ILCTM in London on Saturday 12th April 2014 from 14:00 to 15:00.
Disclaimer: the data referenced in this release is based on the submitted abstract. More recent data may be presented at the International Liver Congress™ 2014.
Notes to Editors
EASL is the leading European scientific society involved in promoting research and education in hepatology. EASL attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.
EASL's main focus on education and research is delivered through numerous events and initiatives, including:
- The International Liver CongressTM which is the main scientific and professional event in hepatology worldwide
- Meetings including Monothematic and Special conferences, Post Graduate courses and other endorsed meetings that take place throughout the year
- Clinical and Basic Schools of Hepatology, a series of events covering different aspects in the field of Hepatology
- Journal of Hepatology published monthly
- Participation in a number of policy initiatives at European level
About The International Liver CongressTM 2014
The International Liver Congress™ 2014, the 49th annual meeting of the European Association for the study of the Liver, is being held at ExCel London from April 9 – 13, 2014. The congress annually attracts in excess of 9000 clinicians and scientists from around the world and provides an opportunity to hear the latest research, perspectives and treatments of liver disease from principal experts in the field.
For further information on the guidelines, or to request an interview, please do not hesitate to contact the EASL Press Office on:
Helena Symeou +44 7976 562 430
Courtney Lock +44 7894 386 422
1.World Health Organization. WHO Guidelines for the Screening, Care and Treatment of Persons with Hepatitis C Infection. 2014.
2. European Association for the Study of the Liver. Clinical Practice Guidelines - Update on the management of hepatitis C virus infection. Journal of Hepatology, 2014.
3. WebMD. Hepatitis Health Center. Available at http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/ Accessed 01.04.14