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PEGASYS(R) Proven Effective as Hepatitis C Treatment for Latino Patients, According to Article in The New England Journal of Medicine
Date:1/14/2009

- Largest Prospective Study Demonstrates Treatment Success, and Highlights Potential Factors that Affect Health Outcomes, in Latino Population Suffering from Chronic Hepatitis C -

NUTLEY, N.J., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from the LATINO study, the largest study conducted to-date in Latino patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).(1) This Roche study demonstrated that HCV can be successfully treated among Latino patients, a patient population that is historically difficult to treat.(1,2,3,4) The study, "Peginterferon Alfa-2a and Ribavirin in Latino and Non-Latino Whites with Hepatitis C," was conducted to better understand how previously untreated Latino patients with HCV genotype 1, the most difficult-to-treat genotype, responded to treatment with PEGASYS(R) (peginterferon alfa-2a) plus COPEGUS(R) (ribavirin) as compared to non-Latino whites.(1)

"We know that the hepatitis C virus affects Latino patients differently than non-Latino patients, but there was little data available to support what we have seen clinically. The LATINO data are important because, for the first time, a large-scale study was conducted that focused on Latino patients, providing insight into this growing population," said Maribel Rodriguez-Torres, M.D., of the Fundacion de Investigacion de Diego in Puerto Rico. "We hope that this landmark LATINO study will be the beginning of more clinical trials with greater numbers of Latino patients, which will help address the unmet medical need of this population."

The data showed that Latino patients achieved sustained virological response (SVR) at a lower rate than non-Latino whites, and demonstrated that there were differences in predictors of SVR between the two patient populations.(1) The results of this study add to a growing body of evidence of differences in treatment responses among ethnic groups and unders
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