Cipla and FIND will Find Improved Diagnostics for Hepatitis C
Cipla, an Indian multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company collaborated with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), a global non-profit organisation focused on devising affordable diagnostic tests to develop a highly effective and sensitive diagnostic test for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and launch programmes which will include HCV testing along with treatment of high risk populations like those co-infected with HIV.
According to WHO, about 12 million people in India are HCV infected and are unaware about their current status, thus it is always better to diagnose a disease as early as possible for its complete and early treatment.
Currently, HCV is curable, direct-acting antiviral therapy is available as an affordable treatment option but still the number of deaths occurring due to HCV have outnumbered those co-infected with HIV. Currently available HCV diagnostic tests are not very affordable and easily accessible to the economically weaker section of people like HCV screening test followed by molecular test of HCV core antigen or HCV RNA.
“The new direct-acting antiviral therapy is effective, with few side effects and more affordable. Partnering with leading doctors in the field of liver disease, Cipla has been able to provide treatment to thousands of patients over the past year,” said Denis Broun, Head of Government Affairs, Cipla.
Figure 1. FIND HCV portfolio
“The challenge is to increase access to the new treatments in countries that don’t have simple, low cost screening and confirmatory tests for HCV,” said Dr. Catharina Boehme, CEO of FIND.
This collaborative agreement between Cipla and FIND is definitely a positive step towards the objective of a reliable, sensitive and affordable diagnostic test for HCV which could reach to the people of all economic zone so that early detection of HCV could lead to an increased survival rate in HCV infected patients.