KARACHI:Pakistan has the second largest burden of hepatitis C (HCV) in the world and it is estimated that today 350 million humans worldwide are chronically infected with HBV.
Around 600,000 deaths are reported each year as a result of HBV infection, and 350,000 deaths are linked with HCV infection.
As developing world face food security issues, it also confronts with the drug insecurity challenges. There is a need of cost-effective strategies for drug development.
Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhry, Director International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi, and a German scientist Dr. Bertram Flehmig expressed these views on Tuesday while delivering their lectures in the 6th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (November 6 to 9, 2017) being held at the ICCBS University of Karachi.
Over 530 scientists, including 80 scientists from 30 countries, are attending the international event, organized by Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), Karachi University.
The names of countries include Turkey, Iran, Italy, Nigeria, Greece, USA, UK, Germany, France, Cameron, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Switzerland, Spain, Sultanate of Oman, Russian Federation, Jordon, Saudi Arabia, Hungry, Egypt, China, Sweden, Syria, Indonesia and Canada.
Prof Iqbal Chaudhry said that there was a dire need of cost-effective strategies for drug development, which must be based on indigenous knowledge resource base, S&T capacity, and people-friendly approval process. Nation states must prioritize the agenda for developing safe and effective drugs against local diseases, he said, adding that developing countries cannot afford to invest in the current drug development paradigm which is not cost-effective.
Dr. Bertram Flehmig said that Pakistan has the second largest burden of HCV in the world with an estimated number of 8 to 10 million cases of chronically infected persons with HCV.
It is estimated that today 350 million humans worldwide are chronically infected with HBV, 75 per cent were infected at birth, and 170 millions chronically infected with HCV, he mentioned.
He said that about 2 billion people have been infected with HBV worldwide with 600,000 deaths each year as a result of HBV infection, and 350,000 deaths each year as a result of HCV infection.
It is estimated that about 1.4 million acute hepatitis A cases occur yearly worldwide. Treatment of chronically infected hepatitis B patients with interferon and nucleoside analoga is beneficial for the patients however so far the elimination of the virus and the infection cannot be achieved.
In contrast chronically infected hepatitis C patient can be cured completely.
During the first two days of the symposium, various lectures on different issues of the molecular medicine of the national and international scientists were held on various scientific issues.—APP