This page provides an overview of recently published articles relevant to The International Liver CongressTM 2015.

Sunday 26 April 2015

ALLY1 Results: More Good News on Hep C
Results of trials of antivirals to treat hepatitis C infections are dominating the proceedings at the International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria. In a presentation today, Fred Poordad, MD, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX reported on a trial known as ALLY-1.

New data supports use DAAs in patients with HCV recurrence following liver transplantation 
New data presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015, supports the use of sofosbuvir (SOF)- and daclatasvir (DCV)-based regimens in patients with recurrence of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) following liver transplantation (LT). The results are based on data from patients with HCV being treated with second-generation DAAs in the large French prospective ANRS CO23 CUPILT study. Among them, 296 patients were treated with a combination of SOF+DCV, with or without ribavirin.

ANRS CO22: SVR4 rates near 100% for sofosbuvir/daclatasvir in genotype 1
Patients treated with regimens containing Sovaldi and daclatasvir achieved encouraging 4-week sustained virologic response rates, according to data presented during the Late Breakers session at the 2015 International Liver Congress.

Harvoni Tackles Uncommon HCV Variants 
A treatment approved for the most common form of hepatitis C (HCV) in the U.S. was also highly effective in less widespread variants, researchers said here. The two-drug single-pill combination of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir (Harvoni) is indicated in the U.S. for genotype 1 HCV infection, noted Armand Abergel, MD, PhD, of the Hopital d’Estaing in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and colleagues. But in an open-label study among patients with genotypes 4 and 5 disease, the combination yielded efficacy results that were similar to those seen in genotype 1, Abergel reported in a plenary session at the European Association for the Study of the Liver annual meeting.

Fatty Liver Disease Surging as Liver Cancer Cause 
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is emerging as a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States, a new study shows. In fact, from 2004 to 2009, the annual increase in hepatocellular carcinoma in fatty liver disease patients was approximately 5%.”Given the epidemic of nonalcoholic fatty liver, the burden of disease-related complications is expected to rise,” Dr Younossi said here at the Liver Congress 2015.

Advanced liver damage is common in people with undiagnosed hepatitis C in US survey
Around one in five of people with hepatitis C in the United States who do not know of their infection may already have advanced liver damage and be in urgent need of treatment, according to a cross-sectional survey of participants in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) presented by Prowpanga Udompap at the International Liver Congress in Vienna on Saturday.

Saturday 25 April 2015

Interferon Tx Scores in Tough-to-Treat HCV 
Rumors of the death of pegylated interferon may have been exaggerated. In a surprising result, the widely demonized immune system booster came up trumps as therapy for patients with the difficult-to-treat genotype 3 hepatitis C (HCV), according to Kosh Agarwal, MD, of Kings College Hospital in London. Combined with sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and ribavirin, peginterferon therapy led to cures in 93% of patients after just 12 weeks of treatment, Agarwal told reporters at European Association for the Study of the Liver annual meeting.

Researchers highlight need for better evidence to guide EU efforts to increase hep B+C testing 
The apparent dearth of research on hepatitis B and C testing in many European countries could be hampering efforts to identify infected individuals, according to results from a comprehensive review of 136 studies presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015.

Friday 24 April 2015

EASL 2015: Expanded Vaccination and Treatment Could Help Eliminate Hepatitis B Worldwide  
While universal infant hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination has already led to major advances in reducing new infections in some settings, further expansion of prevention and treatment are needed to significantly reduce HBV transmission and liver disease mortality, according to an analysis presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) 50th International Liver Congress this week in Vienna.

Single-Pill HCV Combo Has Wide Efficacy 
An investigational single-pill combination treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) had good results in a wide range of patients, researchers reported. Overall, the fixed-dose combination of grazoprevir and elbasvir resulted in cures in 95% of patients in a phase III trial, according to Stefan Zeuzem, MD, of Goethe University Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany. But the combination, given once daily, also had a high cure rate regardless of the viral genotype and the presence or absence of cirrhosis, Zeuzem reported at the annual meeting here of the European Association for the Study of the Liver and online in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Therapeutic candidate BLU-554 has significant anti-tumor activity in HCC models 
Blueprint Medicines today announced new preclinical data demonstrating that BLU-554, a selective and potent inhibitor of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4), has significant anti-tumor activity in models of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that are dependent on FGFR4 signaling. A highly targeted therapeutic candidate, BLU-554 induced complete tumor regression in a subset of mice harboring genomic amplification of an FGFR4-activating ligand at the highest dose levels. These data will be presented today at the 50th International Liver Congress™ (ILC) 2015 in Vienna, Austria, and have been chosen by the European Association of the Study of the Liver (EASL) to be highlighted in an ILC press conference.

NASH associated with a 50 percent higher chance of death compared with NAFLD 
Results from a large population-based cohort, reported today at The International Liver Congress, found that the chances of dying from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), over a 14-year period, was approximately 50% higher than for those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Dr Laurent Castera, Vice-Secretary, European Association for the Study of the Liver, commented: “In non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, fat builds up in the liver which can cause inflammation and, eventually, lead to permanent scarring. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has four stages and these findings clearly link the severity of the disease with the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. It is therefore imperative that we identify people in the early stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease so they can be treated through diet and lifestyle interventions before their condition becomes potentially deadly.”

Thursday 23 April 2015

50th anniversary of ILC is ‘landmark’ for EASL, liver disease
At the opening press conference held at The International Liver Congress, Markus Peck-Radosavljevic, MD, secretary-general of the European Association of the Study of the Liver, discusses achievements of EASL and explains that the 50th anniversary of the meeting marks how far the society and meeting has come over the years.

“The 50th anniversary is a landmark for EASL because the society has had tremendous developments since its first meeting in 1966,” Peck said at the Press Conference. “This has helped definitely to move liver disease into the lime light because when the society was founded, only one of the viral hepatitis had been identified and now we are actually curing almost all of them.”

Liraglutide Shows Promise in Liver Disease
Matthew Armstrong, MD, of the Birmingham Liver Biomedical Research Unit, University of Birmingham, UK, presented results of the LEAN (Liraglutide Efficacy and Action in NASH) trial, at the International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria, this morning. The study found Liraglutide will likely benefit patients with NASH. He characterised the study findings as a “major breakthrough” that points to a potential treatment.

Investigational anti-diabetic may offer potential for management of non-alcoholic fatty liver
Data presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015 demonstrates that remogliflozin etabonate, an investigational drug in type 2 diabetes, is a potential treatment option for the management of patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). “In multiple trials to date, remogliflozin etabonate has been shown to be a safe and potent anti-diabetic compound. In addition to its ability to reverse insulin resistance and cause weight loss, it also uniquely offers intrinsic anti-oxidant activity, which may prove useful in the treatment of patients with NAFLD and NASH,” said William Wilkison, Ph.D., COO, Islet Sciences, Inc.

Genomic analyses point to the potential of personalised care for liver cancer patients
A new study presented today at The International Liver Congress 2015 shows that by using genomic analyses to understand how and when carcinogenic mutations occur in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), it is possible to identify specific molecular profiles. It is hoped that these molecular profiles will help identify which patients would benefit from specific anticancer treatments. “Hepatocarcinogenesis is a multi-step process in which pre-cancerous lesions can ultimately transform into liver cancer. Genomic analyses, such as exome sequencing, allow us to better understand the mutational processes involved in the development of cancers. This detailed knowledge then helps us to unravel the mutagenic processes and to optimise personalised patient care,” said Professor Markus Peck, Secretary General, European Association for the Study of the Liver.

New survey shows that half of people with hepatitis suffer from discrimination
As many as half of people infected with viral hepatitis have suffered discrimination and one-quarter admit that family members have avoided physical contact with them after finding out they had the infection, according to a patient survey presented at The International Liver Congress 2015. “Few studies have evaluated the circumstances and the degree to which stigma and discrimination are present for those living with viral hepatitis. This is one of the first studies that listens to the voice of the patient in order to find out from them the context and intensity of stigma and discrimination that they experience and how it affects their quality of life,” said Carlos Varaldo, president of Grupo Otimismo ‘Support Group for People Who Live with Hepatitis’.

SOLAR 2: Harvoni yields high SVR12 in decompensated patients
12 or 24 weeks of Harvoni with ribavirin demonstrated 12-week sustained virologic response rates nearly 90% in decompensated patients, according to findings presented at the 2015 International Liver Congress. Michael Manns, MD, of Hannover Medical School in Hannover, Germany, and colleagues treated patients with genotype 1 or 4 disease. Speaking on the findings, he commented: “Ledipasvir and sofosbuvir plus ribavirin resulted in high SVR12 rates in patients with advanced liver disease irrespective of pre- or post-transplant. These patients were not eligible for treatment in the past and can now be treated.”

Wednesday 22 April 2015
EASL 2015: International Liver Congress Starts this Week in Vienna
Hivandhepatitis.com report on the start of The International Liver Congress 2015TM naming it “one of the key scientific conferences covering hepatitis B and C and its complications”. The article includes information on the 50th year celebrations and key data being presented. Starting Friday, Hivandhepatitis.com and their partners at Aidsmap.com will be reporting all the breaking news from the congress.

Liver Meeting Draws 11,000 to Vienna
Hcplive will offer live news from The International Liver Congress, where “11,000 attendees from 105 countries are converging in Vienna.” The article calls out two “eagerly awaited trials” for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and its precursor non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and includes information on the opening ceremony led by Markus Peck.

Norgine Presents PROSPER Study – First Ever Real World Evidence Study in Hepatic Encephalopathy Patients Taking rifaximin- α 550mg
Norgine B.V. today presented the study design of PROSPER, a real world outcomes study of hepatic encephalopathy patients’ experiences on rifaximin-α 550mg at The International Liver Congress (ILC) 2015. PROSPER is an observational, multicentre study among 550 patients in Europe and Australia. It has been designed to monitor the clinical effectiveness of rifaximin-α and its impact on health care resources utilisations.

Tuesday 21 April 2015
EASL: 50 Years and Counting
MedPage Today released an article entitled EASL: 50 Years and Counting: Liver meeting expected to attract more than 11,000 participants. The article includes many quotes from Markus Peck, including that “This year is quite strong on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” and that the meeting will have an important focus on issues of public health. The article notes four sessions to keep an eye on; these are:

  • The opening ceremony, where the NASH liraglutide data will be presented.
  • A workshop on public health and the liver, slated for April 25.
  • Oral presentations on HCV treatment and clinical issues April 23 and 24.
  • Late-breaker oral talks April 25, which will include data on HCV, HBV, and Alagille syndrome, among other things.

Nimbus Therapeutics Announces Initiation of Clinical Studies for ACC Inhibitor
Nimbus Therapeutics announced today that it has initiated a Phase I clinical program for NDI-010976, an allosteric Acetyl CoA Carboxylase (ACC) inhibitor, for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and related fatty liver disease-spectrum disorders.

Helio.com to provide live coverage of International Liver Congress 2015
Healio.com/Hepatology will offer live coverage from The International Liver CongressTM 2015, from Thursday 23 April. Visit Healio.com/Hepatology to read the latest news from the meeting, and follow live updates on Twitter at@HealioHep.

Monday 20 April 2015
NGM Biopharmaceuticals to Present New Data on NGM282 at the European Association for the Study of the Liver International Liver Congress(TM) 2015
Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that new preclinical data on its lead compound, NGM282, will be presented in ePoster Sessions at the European Association for the Study of the Liver’s International Liver CongressTM 2015.

Course of Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis II Varies
An abstract from Sharat Varma and colleagues at Cliniques Universitaires Saint Luc, Brussels and Katholiek Universiteit Leuven will be presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015. The abstract states that children who develop progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis Type II (PFIC-II) may get better—at least for a while—without getting a liver transplant. But children borne with the condition do not, a team from Belgium found. Bile salt export pump plays a key role.

Hepatitis C global media education initiative: Steering committee to begin talks at the 50th European Association for the Study of the liver (EASL) conference in Vienna
The article announces the launch of a Hepatitis C (HCV) global media education initiative by The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ). The initiative’s steering committee will convene for the first time on April 24 at the 50th European Association for the Study of the liver (EASL) conference in Vienna, Austria. The article also mentions that a press conference outlining the goals of the initiative will be held on April 23 at 11 am in the Schubert 1 room.

Friday 17 April 2015
Medscape interview EASL Governing Board members ahead of The International Liver CongressTM 2015
Ahead of the upcoming Congress, Medscape has interviewed Professor Markus Peck and Dr Laurent Castera who acknowledged that hepatitis C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma, and non-invasive liver function assessment are the hot topics for this year’s meeting. The article also highlights the planned celebrations in Vienna as EASL marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Congress, and the thirtieth anniversary of the Journal of Hepatology. (Please note this article requires access to Medscape to view).

Watch the body defend against attack from the hepatitis B virus
EASL Young Investigator, Matteo Iannacone discusses the impact of a new pioneering technique – intravital microscopy, which allows scientists to observe real-time cell behaviour in a liver infected with hepatitis B. (Please note this article is in Italian).

Thursday 16 April 2015
Wilson Therapeutics Announces Presentation Of WTX101-201 Phase 2 Study At The EASL 50th International Liver Congress 2015
Wilson Therapeutics has announced that a poster of the company’s ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial for WTX101-201 will be presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015. The poster, titled “WTX101-201: Phase 2 Study of Bis-choline Tetrathiomolybdate in Newly Diagnosed Wilson Disease Patients”, will be presented in the Clinical Trials in Progress session on Saturday 25 April.

Monday 13 April
Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Announces Abstracts and Presentations of Lonafarnib Data in Hepatitis Delta (HDV) at the European Association for the Study of the Liver Conference – April 22 to 26, 2015
Abstracts from Eiger BioPharmaceuticals Hepatitis Delta Virus development program will be presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015. Data from the Phase 2 study of lonafarnib boosted with ritonavir in patients infected with HDV will be presented for the first time.

Intercept Announces New Data in PBC and NASH to be Presented at EASL 2015
Several abstracts evaluating obeticholic acid in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis will be presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015. The abstracts will be presented by the Global PBC Study Group and the UK-PBC Group.

Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals to Present HBV and HCV Results with SB 9200 at EASL 2015
Two poster presentations on SB 9200 focussing on HBV preclinical data and HCV Phase I data will be presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015.

Wednesday 8 April 2015
AbbVie to Present New Data from Hepatitis C Clinical Development Program at The International Liver CongressTM 2015
29 abstracts from AbbVie’s ongoing hepatitis C clinical development program have been accepted for presentation at The International Liver CongressTM 2015. Data being presented include sub-analyses of the recently approved ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir tablets + dasabuvir tablets, Phase 3b studies and Phase 2/3 studies investigating AbbVie’s combination treatment in genotype 1 and genotype 4.

Merck’s Grazoprevir/Elbasvir HCV Regimen Receives Two FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designations
A total of 14 abstracts from studies evaluating grazoprevir/elbasvir are scheduled to be presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015, including three from the ongoing Phase 3 pivotal C-EDGE program, one from the pivotal Phase 2b/3 C-SURFER study, and seven from ongoing or completed Phase 2 studies.

Janssen Highlights Hepatitis C Virus Development Program at The International Liver CongressTM 2015 of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL)
Clinical data for simeprevir, Janssen’s NS3/4A protease inhibitor for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection, will be presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015. Early-stage data on the investigational nucleotide analog polymerase inhibitors AL-335 and AL-516, which were recently obtained through Janssen’s acquisition of Alios BioPharma, will also be presented.

Achillion Announces Upcoming Presentations at The International Liver Congress 2015
Achillion will present three posters, including two late breaker abstracts, at the 50th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). Poster presentations will include Phase 1 results on ACH-3422, and detailed results from the Phase 2 proxy study evaluating ACH-3102.

Tobira Therapeutics Highlights Presentations at The International Liver Congress 2015
Tobira announced that three abstracts showing new data for cenicriviroc in reducing liver inflammation and fibrogenesis, will be presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015.

Replicor to Make Six Presentations at EASL 2015
Replicor announced that the EASL selection committee has accepted six abstracts for presentation at The International Liver CongressTM 2015. The abstracts: four presentations, one oral and three posters, disclose new clinical and mechanistic data on the activity of nucleic acid polymers against chronic hepatitis B infection.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals to Present Three Emricasan Clinical Results Posters at EASL Meeting
Conatus Pharmaceuticals revealed that three posters addressing clinical results with emricasan, the company’s first-in-class, orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor, have been accepted for presentation at The International Liver CongressTM 2015.

Enanta Pharmaceuticals Announces Data Presentations on Regimens Containing Protease Inhibitors Paritaprevir and ABT-493 at The International Liver CongressTM 2015
Enanta Pharmaceuticals announced that abstracts of research on regimens containing either one of Enanta’s two protease inhibitors for hepatitis C virus identified and developed in its ongoing collaboration with AbbVie, have been accepted for presentation at The International Liver CongressTM 2015.

Medivir: New simeprevir data will be presented at The International Liver Congress 2015 of the European Association for the Study of the Liver
Clinical data for simeprevir, the NS3/4A protease inhibitor for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection, will be presented by Medvir’s partner Janssen Sciences Ireland UC at The International Liver CongressTM 2015. Key presentations will report on the efficacy and tolerability of simeprevir in interferon-free combination regimens in phase II, phase III and real-world clinical settings.

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