Roche starts research cooperation for personalised treatment of chronic hepatitis
Penzberg – Roche Diagnostics GmbH has joined in a cooperation with three partners from Spain to tailor personalised antiviral therapies against chronic infections with the hepatitis B and C viruses. The idea behind the collaboration with the Spanish Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), the Networking Biomedical Research Centre in Liver and Digestive Diseases (CIBEREHD), and the software producer Advanced Biological Laboratories Therapy Edge Spain (ABL) is to identify antiviral-resistant mutants early on in the virus populations and to tailor drug treatment to the individual virus subpopulation. The means for identifying the variable composition of virus subtypes will be Roche’s Next generation sequencing technology, together with other genetic and molecular analytical techniques. Infections with the hepatitis viruses can remain asymptomatic for decades before the disease has advanced and causes decompensated cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma requiring liver transplantation in the worst case. An individualised early treatment of chronic hepatitis would offer huge savings for health care systems. Roche currently pioneers the field of sequencing-based molecular diagnostics. The firm is not too far from market launch in fields such as identification of drug resistant HIV resistance subtypes, HLA typing or even oncology.