Qlucore corrals EU funding for hepatitis C software

Qlucore, a provider of scientific software, has won €600,000 ($801,360) over three years from the European Commission's 7th Framework Program to develop algorithms for use in personalizing treatment of hepatitis C virus.

The software company, launched in 2007 based on research from Lund University in Sweden, plans to work on mathematical and statistical algorithms for integrating information from genetic, proteomic and clinical research data. The aim of the work is to provide clinicians with a mobile app for use at the point of care.

The award comes as healthcare providers in Europe and elsewhere ready for demand for new treatments for hepatitis C, a chronic infection that damages the liver and often causes cancer in the organ. New all-oral drugs for the disease have shown in clinical trials to wipe out the virus more quickly and with less severe side effects than therapy regiments containing injections of interferon.

Gilead Sciences ($GILD), AbbVie ($ABBV) and others are developing new hepatitis C pills that could command more than $20 billion in annual sales. Between 130 million and 170 million people worldwide have hepatitis C infections, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And there are multiple genetic and clinical variables to evaluate for each patient, creating a need for tools that can quickly help clinicians prescribe the right treatments.

"Personalized medicine, and in particular hepatitis C patients, will benefit from the project outcome," Qlucore CEO Carl-Johan Ivarsson said in a statement. "One of the primary objectives of the consortium is to provide predictive tests that will lead to improvements in the health of these patients, which will simultaneously reduce the costs of medical treatment."

- here's the company's release (PDF)