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NEJM study: New drug represents breakthrough in treatment of hepatitis C
Date:6/22/2011

NEW YORK (June 23, 2011) -- The drug telaprevir (Incivek) provides a dramatic improvement in the treatment of the most common form of hepatitis C infection, says an international team of investigators led by Dr. Ira M. Jacobson of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Their study, published in today's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, led to approval of the agent for patient use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 23.

Results of the ADVANCE trial showed that telaprevir combined with standard therapy (pegylated-interferon and ribavirin) cured the virus in 75 percent of patients treated compared with 44 percent of patients who received standard therapy alone.

Furthermore, of the nearly 60 percent of telaprevir-treated patients who had undetectable viral levels at weeks 4 and 12 of treatment, and who were eligible by the terms of the study to receive 24 weeks of total treatment -- half the time required for standard treatment -- approximately 90 percent were cured.

Telaprevir represents a "quantum leap forward into a new era of hepatitis C therapy," says Dr. Jacobson, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and the Vincent Astor Distinguished Professor of Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "This agent directly targets the virus and, together with the also recently introduced protease inhibitor boceprevir, is the first of a coming wave of new treatments that will help the medical community eradicate hepatitis C infection in a majority of patients."

More than 3 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The infection, which is usually transmitted by blood, settles in the liver, which mounts a chronic immune response in an attempt to clear it. This persistent inflammation can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis or failure of the organ. Treatment to eradicate the virus often f
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Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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