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Phase II Study Shows that Nitazoxanide Significantly Improves Response to Standard of Care in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C
Date:11/2/2007

ized into three groups to receive either 48 weeks of standard of care treatment (n=40), 12 weeks of nitazoxanide followed by 36 weeks of nitazoxanide plus peginterferon (a dual regimen, n=28), or 12 weeks of nitazoxanide followed by 36 weeks of nitazoxanide plus standard of care treatment (a triple regimen, n=28). An additional 24 interferon-experienced patients were randomized to receive 12 weeks of nitazoxanide followed by either the dual regimen (n=12) or the triple regimen (n=12) for 36 weeks. Patients received 180 microgram injections of pegylated interferon (Pegasys(R)) once per week; nitazoxanide was administered as one 500 mg tablet twice daily; and ribavirin was administered as 1,000 or 1,200 mg daily according to weight.

Results

At 12 weeks following the end of treatment, naive patients who received a triple regimen that included standard of care and nitazoxanide showed a significantly higher SVR (HCV RNA <10 IU/mL, Abbott m2000) than the group receiving the standard of care regimen (79% vs. 43%, respectively) (p=0.006). The data also suggest a potential for eliminating or reducing the role of ribavirin in treating hepatitis C. Patients treated with a dual regimen of nitazoxanide and peginterferon showed an SVR at week 12 following the end of treatment that was not inferior to standard of care (68% vs. 43%, respectively) (+25%; 95% CI: -1%, +47%). Of 24 treatment-experienced patients, the triple regimen (n=12) resulted in an SVR of 25% at week 12 post- treatment, and the dual regimen group (n=12) had an SVR of 8%.

"Results from this trial validate a new approach to treating HCV that focuses on the interaction between the virus and the cell," said Jean-Francois Rossignol, M.D., Director of the Romark Institute for Medical Research. "With confirmation provided by this data we are aggressively pursuing development of nitazoxanide and related drugs to treat chronic hepatitis C and other viral diseases."

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SOURCE Romark Laboratories
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