Hepatitis C, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), is an infectious disease affecting the liver.
Why Investors Should Care About Hepatitis C
By Nick Chiu - July 9, 2013 | Tickers: ABT, ABBV, ACHN, GILD | 1 Comment
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Hepatitis C, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), is an infectious disease affecting the liver. An estimated 130 million-200 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C, and more than 350,000 people die every year from hepatitis C-related liver diseases.
HCV is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States and the leading cause of liver transplants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are at least six different subtypes of the hepatitis C virus, and each responds differently to treatment. On June 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a test that identifies the genotype of hepatitis C virus (HCV) that a patient is carrying. By using a sample of an infected patient’s blood plasma or serum, the Abbott RealTime HCV Genotype II can differentiate genotypes 1, 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, and 5. By knowing the type of HCV a person is infected with, more effective treatment can be given as different HCV genotypes respond differently to available drug therapies.