San Francisco, Feb. 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
Global hepatitis C therapeutics market would grow from USD 5.9 billion in 2012 to USD 19 billion in 2019. Hepatitis C, a complex liver disease, is caused by the ribonucleic acid virus. It usually spreads through direct contact with infected blood or blood products. Detection is very difficult as the infection is often asymptomatic.
Hepatitis C is of serious nature as even when detected and targeted, it continues to establish and maintain a life-long, persistent infection. This could result in cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver transplantation in North America and the U.K.
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No preventive vaccine or selective antiviral therapy exists at present. Current treatment options include a combination of ribavirin and pegylated interferon. Patients diagnosed with genotype 1 hepatitis C are treated with one of two direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs).
However, these treatment options are not very effective. Moreover, these drugs are toxic and lead to side effects that include fever, depression, arthralgia, and haemolytic anemia. Also, their administration is a costly affair. Price of a single dose ranges between few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Also standard insurance covers do not reimburse complete costs.
The virus’s lifecycle is highly complicated, making discovery of new therapies a daunting task. DAA Sovaldi, which was approved in December 2013, has marked a breakthrough in this space. It achieved complete viral clearance in almost 100% of the patients. Additionally, instances of adverse events have been lower as compared to previous therapies. In cases of genotype 2 and 3 hepatitis C, Sovaldi need not be administered with pegylated interferon.
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