August 13, 2008
Gilead Sciences on Monday announced that it has received FDA approval to market its antiretroviral drug Viread as a hepatitis B treatment, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports (AP/International Herald Tribune, 8/12). According to Gilead estimates, more than 400 million people worldwide have hepatitis B, an infection that affects the liver and is prevalent in Asia. The disease is the leading cause of liver cancer, and complications associated with hepatitis B result in up to 1.2 million deaths annually.
Viread, which has been available in the U.S. as an HIV/AIDS treatment since 2001, works by blocking an enzyme necessary for hepatitis B replication in liver cells (Reuters India, 8/12). According to Gilead, FDA joins regulators in Australia, Europe, Turkey and New Zealand in allowing the company to market Viread as a treatment for hepatitis B (AP/International Herald Tribune, 8/12).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2008 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.