WHEN WAS the last time you heard of a genuine cure for a lethal disease? Hepatitis C has just been transformed from a chronic, and often fatal, condition to a disorder that can be completely cured.
Only a few years ago, many patients with hepatitis C infection died of the disease, with no uniformly effective therapy in sight. However, over the last decade, leading scientists and clinicians working in academia and at companies such as Abbvie, Gilead, Johnson & Johnson, and Vertex have converted a death sentence into a curable disease. The treatments approved at the end of last year by the Food and Drug Administration for hepatitis C represent the vanguard of a slew of future biotech cures for currently lethal cancers and other diseases.