NEW YORK – Abbott Laboratories said Monday that its experimental hepatitis C drug regimen cured 99 percent of patients in a midstage study with the most common and hardest-to-treat type of the disease.
Patients who took a three-drug regimen and the drugs Ritonavir and ribavirin had undetectable virus levels after 12 weeks of treatment. The North Chicago, Ill., company said it observed a 93 percent cure rate in a group of patients who were not helped by other treatments.
Patients in the trial had genotype 1 hepatitis C, which is the most common type in the Western world and the hardest to treat. The regimen did not include interferon, a standard component of hepatitis C therapy that causes flu-like side effects that can last for months. The study included 77 patients who hadn’t been treated before and 41 patients who were not helped by other treatments.
Hepatitis C is a virus that can lead to life-threatening liver damage and is the main cause of liver transplants in the U.S.
High court to hear Arizona election case
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will weigh in on the controversy over voter fraud and decide early next year whether Arizona can require residents to show proof of their citizenship before they register to vote. The justices agreed to hear Arizona’s appeal of an anti-fraud provision that was adopted as a ballot initiative in 2004 but was struck down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court will hear the Arizona case early next year and try to resolve a conflict between two laws, one federal and one state.
South Dakota executes killer of guard
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A South Dakota inmate has been put to death for killing a prison guard by beating him with a pipe and covering his head in plastic wrap during a failed escape attempt. Eric Robert, 50, received lethal injection Monday night in South Dakota’s first execution since 2007. Robert was put to death in the same prison where he killed guard Ronald “RJ” Johnson in April 2011.
George McGovern enters hospice care
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern has moved into hospice care near his home in South Dakota. His daughter told the Associated Press on Monday that the longtime senator is “coming to the end of his life.” George McGovern lost to President Richard Nixon in a historic landslide in 1972.
Fourth body found in collapsed garage
MIAMI – Authorities have found the body of a fourth victim in the rubble of a parking garage that partially collapsed last week at a Florida college. Police said Monday the man’s body is deep in the unstable rubble and may take several days to remove. Investigators believe the body is 53-year-old electrician Robert Budhoo. Three other workers were killed when part of the five-story garage collapsed at Miami Dade College’s west campus. No students were injured.