Covid Vaccine Progress

In March of this year, the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic and to date there are still no specific treatments and no licenced vaccines for coronavirus. However, preliminary data released this week from Pfizer suggest significant progress has now been made with highly encouraging results from a Phase 3 study. The interim results from the Pfizer study report that the vaccine is effective in preventing more than 90% of people from getting Covid. More data are awaited to confirm safety before emergency approval is sought and the vaccine is made available to the public.

While these data represent a major scientific breakthrough in tackling the Covid public health emergency, we will still have to overcome significant challenges before we have a number of safe and effective vaccines, which are available globally. Little detail is known at this juncture about immunogenicity; is it more (or less) effective in certain populations or age-groups and for how long is the vaccine effective?

In order to address these questions, amongst others, further vaccine trials are needed with the generation of more data to better understand how specific vaccines may be employed in the future. At present there are almost a dozen vaccines in late-stage clinical trials, which will ultimately lead to the selection of the best vaccines based on the efficacy and safety.

HBV & Me

I am pleased to announce that my new “HBV & ME” interactive ‘Treatment indicator’ is now available on the website. If you have Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) my ‘treatment indicator’ will help you better understand and manage your condition. 

CHB is a dynamic disease which requires continuous monitoring to determine whether the disease is quiescent and no treatment is necessary or conversely, whether the disease is active and treatment is indicated to suppress the virus, reduce liver inflammation and avert the complications of CHB. The continuous monitoring of CHB is mandatory to ensure the disease is optimally managed. 

My goal is to empower patients to better understand this chronic infection and my ‘Treatment Indicator’ is designed to put patients in control of their own management, be that prompting whether they should seek medical help or whether they should be on treatment. However, this tool is NOT designed to replace specialist care and should be used to better understand the timing and rationale of management decisions in CHB in partnership with your Specialist.   

The Treatment Indicator is based on three questions about your liver health in relation to CHB, namely the level of replicating virus (HBV DNA), the level of liver inflammation (serum ALT) and the degree of liver fibrosis. For each question you must select the most appropriate answer from the options displayed. Once completed, you will then be given advice on how best to proceed.

The tool is designed as a simple “traffic light system”, with outcomes provided as green, amber or red. The outcomes indicate whether treatment is not indicated (green), should be considered (amber) or is indicated (red).  

Welcome from Dr Kennedy

Dr Patrick Kennedy

Hello and a very warm welcome to my blog.

Delivering the highest quality medical care is at the heart of my clinical practice and also drives my academic research in liver disease. Since my appointment as a Senior Lecturer & Consultant at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2009, I have built a world leading translational research portfolio, seamlessly linking my clinical work with research excellence. At the centre of this work, has been my research into chronic hepatitis B (CHB).  

My seminal work on the management of CHB in young people is changing clinical practice. At a time of remarkable progress in the field of viral hepatitis; the licensing of curative therapies for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), the development of novel therapies in the pursuit of functional cure in CHB and much needed new therapies entering clinical trials for hepatitis Delta virus (HDV); there is a pressing need to convey these developments to patients to ensure a wider audience understand the progress in the field and are aware of the potential impact these advances will have on the management of their disease. I hope to use this blog to inform people and where possible, provide practical advice and insight into the diagnosis and treatment of CHB as well as other liver diseases. 

Over the last 10 years, I have been fortunate enough to contribute to the quest to achieve functional cure and have built outstanding research collaborations with world-leading researchers in the field. I believe that progress towards functional cure in CHB will only be achieved through a coordinated and concerted global research effort to address the key unanswered questions in the field. My research efforts draw on and partner with the unique expertise of collaborators from Singapore, China, America, Italy, Germany and France to name but a few, highlighting my commitment to a global effort to improve patient care.  

I put the patient at the centre of everything I do, from treatment and management decisions, to teaching, education and research. I passionately believe that better patient understanding and disease awareness are critical to early diagnosis, improved care, superior treatment outcomes and the overall improvement in the wellbeing of patients with liver disease.  

Many people are nervous about contacting a Doctor or anxious about their symptoms or even diagnosis. I take great pride in my work and strive to deliver the highest quality of care to every patient I see. It’s important to me that you feel heard, respected and treated with the utmost care – this is my guarantee to you as a patient and forms the basis of my quest to deliver tailored care to meet the needs of every patient I see. 

You can find out more about my medical background on the ‘About’ page. 

If you’re interested in reading some of my published work, you can find a list of published articles here.

Thanks again for visiting my website and please feel free to get in touch if you have any feedback or comments. 

With best wishes,

Dr Patrick Kennedy