LAFAYETTE, Colo., July 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Center for Disease Analysis Foundation (CDA Foundation) announced today that it received an $8 million grant from Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) as part of Gilead’s Relink grant program. CDA Foundation will disperse the grant to qualifying tax-exempt organizations to contact diagnosed but untreated patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection to bring them back into care.
Despite the availability of existing treatment and vaccination options; in the United States an estimated 2.4 million people are living with HCV, and 850,000 are estimated to be living with HBV, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both viruses are responsible for increasing rates of cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and premature deaths. According to CDA Foundation’s research, the risk of developing cancer for someone infected with HCV or HBV infection is the same as someone who smokes one pack of cigarettes per day. HCV and HBV are associated not only with liver cancer but also increased risk of lymphoma, diabetes, insulin resistance, renal disease, fatigue, cognitive impairment, depression, impaired quality of life, arthritis, fibromyalgia and cardiovascular disorders.
Recognizing the growing continued risk of viral hepatitis, the World Health Organization set a global target to eliminate viral hepatitis as a major public health threat by 2030. Despite the availability of oral drugs with high cure rates for HCV and effective therapies for HBV, this goal has been impeded because many patients diagnosed with viral hepatitis are unaware of their infection, do not seek follow-up care, or delay treatment. According to a recent study by U.S. CDC, less than 30% of all Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance recipients initiate treatment within one year of being diagnosed in the U.S. The Relink grant program aims to identify and work to bridge the gaps that remain in linking patients back to necessary care and treatment.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis, COVID-19 and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
“Hepatitis B and C viruses are highly cancer causing. The Gilead Relink grant is an important example of how public and private partnership can shape viral hepatitis elimination programs that will help the United States achieve WHO targets by 2030,” said Homie Razavi, Founder and Managing Director, CDA Foundation. “In order to improve viral hepatitis patient outcomes in the United States, we must ensure that individuals not only have access to but are also guided toward affordable and effective prevention, care and treatment services.”
“Gilead has been committed to improving the lives of people living with liver disease for more than two decades, and we are thrilled to expand our support to healthcare organizations through the new Gilead Relink grant program,” said Macky Natha, Vice President, Medical Affairs, Gilead Sciences. “As we work toward eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030, we must address barriers to treatment by relinking the people who have been lost in the process, and that’s what the CDA Foundation and other impactful organizations will help accomplish through this program.”
About Center for Disease Analysis Foundations
CDA Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to help eliminate HBV and HCV globally by 2030 by providing countries across the world with verified epidemiological data, disease burden and economic impact modeling, smart intervention strategies, access to affordable diagnostics and treatments, innovative financing, and knowledge-sharing partnerships to eliminate these deadly infections. It works with more than 110 countries globally and 26 US states on their viral hepatitis elimination programs. It is headquartered in Lafayette, Colorado.