The Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) recently announced it has an approved budget of $83 million to fund 26 patient-centered, comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) initiatives to study a variety of conditions and patient populations.
Two research grants worth $29.5 million will be collectively allotted for studies managing patients with Hepatitis C after feedback form healthcare providers that revealed Hepatitis C as a leading health issue. Several CER studies will soon be underway to explore the pros and cons between administering different, newer oral antiviral drugs and more effective approaches to improve screening and compliance among IV drug users.
“We heard from many people—including individuals with hepatitis C as well as clinicians who treat them, the pharmaceutical industry, payers and others—that with the great promise offered by new antiviral medications, there are also many questions about hepatitis C therapies and care delivery that need to be answered,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. “As the availability and use of the new antiviral medications increases, we’re pleased to support patient-centered CER that will help clinical decision makers to make better-informed choices about hepatitis C treatment and care.”
Each of the funded CER studies on HCV will partner with advocacy organizations, professional associations, private donors, and patient and stakeholder groups to design and carry the research. These, along with 24 other approved grants, bring PCORI’s total pledged funding since its establishment in 2012 to $1.18 billion, which so far has resulted in 468 patient-centered research programs.
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Clinical stage biotechnology company, Benitec Biopharma Ltd., recently announced it has opened a 4th additional site to carry out ongoing Phase 1/2a studies on TT-034, a novel treatment for Hepatitis C that uses the company’s proprietary gene-silencing technology, DNA-directed RNA interference (ddRNAi).
The new site is located at the Methodist Health System Clinical Research Institute in Dallas, Texas and has initiated pre-screening of patients under the guidance of lead investigator gastroenterologist and hepatologist, Dr. Parvez Mantry. The other 3 clinical trial sites are located at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the University of California San Diego and the Texas Liver Institute.