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The Lancet: New oral drug regimens cure hardest-to-treat hepatitis C
Date:7/27/2014

Two new pill-only antiviral drug regimens could provide shorter, more effective treatment options with fewer side effects for the majority of patients infected with hepatitis C, even those most difficult to treat, according to the results of two studies published in The Lancet.

Both studies focused on hepatitis C genotype 1, which is the most common genotype in the USA, Europe, North Asia, Australia, and South America, and one of the most difficult to treat.

Around 150 million people worldwide have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, a condition that is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. In the USA, numbers of people with HCV-related liver failure and liver cancer are expected to treble by 2030 because of low treatment rates.

Until recently, the standard of care for chronic HCV genotype 1 involved a combination of three drugs; ribavirin (RBV), pegylated interferon (PEG) and a protease inhibitor, which together inhibit viral replication and enhance the body's immune response to eradicate the virus. These drugs can place a substantial burden on the patient, with complicated injection and pill regimens, which can involve up to 18 tablets a day and last for up to a year, and can also cause severe side effects including anaemia and depression. Direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) provide new opportunities for treatment whilst reducing the need for interferon and ribavirin and their potential side effects.

In the HALLMARK-DUAL phase 3 study, Professor Michael Manns from Hannover Medical School in Germany and colleagues randomly assigned 645 patients with HCV genotype 1b from 18 countries to receive a 6-month course of treatment with a pair of oral DAAs asunaprevir and daclatasvir [2]. A further 102 treatment-nave patients were assigned to a placebo control group. The regimen was highly effective at clearing the virus and well tolerated even in patients who have traditionally been the hardest to treat.
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Contact: Professor Michael P Manns
manns.michael@mh-hannover.de
49-511-532-3305
The Lancet
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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