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Drug interactions won't exclude HCV transplant or HIV co-infected patients from treatment
Date:4/19/2012

Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 19 April 2012: New data from a number of clinical trials presented for the first time at the International Liver Congress 2012 provides hope for previously difficult to treat hepatitis C (HCV) patient populations.

In the first multicentric study of the efficacy and safety of the protease inhibitors (PI) Boceprevir or Telaprevir in patients with severe HCV genotype 1 (GT1) recurrence after liver transplantation(1), results show that 57% of patients achieve undetectable hepatitis C viral loads 24 weeks after treatment (SVR24) with pegylated Interferon-alfa-2b (PegIFN-α-2b), ribavirin (RBV) and either Boceprevir or Telaprevir. Interactions between immunosuppressants and PIs were easily controlled.

Further new data shows that, in HCV GT1 and HIV co-infected patients, the addition of Boceprevir to PegIFN-α-2b and RBV results in higher rates of undetectable HCV RNA levels compared to treatment with only PegIFN-α-2b and RBV alone.(2) At the end of treatment (week 48), 63.9% of patients receiving Boceprevir, PegIFN-α-2b and RBV had undetectable HCV RNA, compared to 29.4% in the control arm. The study found the safety and tolerability profile of Boceprevir, PegIFN-α-2b and RBV was consistent with that observed in HCV-monoinfected patients.

The combination of these findings provides new hope for various difficult to treat hepatitis C populations. Professor Mark Thursz, EASL's Secretary General commented on the exciting new data: "Patients with HIV co-infection and patients who have been transplanted for HCV infection often have more aggressive disease and have been harder to treat. Worries about drug-drug interactions have caused concern about the use of protease inhibitors in these groups. The new trial data shows that the benefits of direct anti-virals can now be experienced by a wider group of patient populations."

In a study of chronic HCV GT1 patients previously unresponsive to
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Contact: Travis Taylor
easlpressoffice@cohnwolfe.com
44-789-438-6428
European Association for the Study of the Liver
Source:Eurekalert

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