Heptalogist Natalie Bzowej on a breakthrough against hepatitis C 

The heptalogist at California Pacific Medical Center was part of helping Vertex receive Federal Drug Administration approval Monday for Incivek, a “groundbreaking” drug that doubles the chance of curing hepatitis C cases (up from 40 to 80 percent).

What does the drug do?
Incivek is a drug that works directly on the virus and it helps to prevent replication of the virus. ... It marks a turning point in the treatment of hep C, which kills 5,000 to 12,000 Americans a year.

What was your role in developing this drug? I was the principal investigator in phase 2 and 3 of the trial for patients who had never been treated.

What other work have you done regarding hep C? I have done a number of other clinical trials on other antivirals on hep C. I have been working on clinical trials for about 15 years now. I would say [Incivek] is the most exciting thing that I have had the chance to work on.

How did patients react? I personally called all the people who had been involved to thank them for participating and the stories are really very, very satisfying. One said he was able to go to his granddaughter’s graduation, another said they were able to go to a wedding.

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