Early research indicates that Human Genome Sciences' experimental hepatitis C treatment, Albuferon-alpha, may require fewer doses and stay in the bloodstream longer than the treatments of its major competitors, the company said Monday. In a test involving 34 patients, researchers found that a single dose of Albuferon-alpha remains active in the bloodstream for up to 28 days, more than twice the duration of the leading treatments now on the market. The company contends the drug will require once or twice monthly injections, which could cut in half the number of annual injections for hepatitis C patients. The results, culled from the first stages of human tests, are by no means conclusive. About 3 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, which can lie dormant for years before destroying the liver or triggering liver cancer.
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