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PEGASYS(R)/COPEGUS(R) Show Benefit in Hard-to-Treat Latino Population with Hepatitis C
Date:5/18/2008

- Largest prospective study in under-treated and under-studied population

(The LATINO Study) provides important insights -

SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Roche today announced results from the LATINO study, the largest prospective study to evaluate the response of Latino whites infected with genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) to combination therapy with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin. The results showed PEGASYS(R) (peginterferon alfa-2a) in combination with COPEGUS(R) (ribavirin) was beneficial in this hard-to-treat population. These data were presented today at the 39th Annual Digestive Disease Week(R) (DDW(R)) in San Diego, CA.

The results showed that 33.5 percent (90/269) of the Latino patients achieved sustained virological response (SVR) when treated with PEGASYS plus COPEGUS. In comparison, 49.3 percent (148/300) of patients in the non-Latino group achieved SVR, a difference of 15.8 percent, highlighting that Latino patients with hepatitis C are more difficult to treat (p < 0.0001). SVR was defined as undetectable HCV RNA 24 weeks after the end of treatment. Additionally, the data provided important information about factors that may predict SVR for Latino patients with hepatitis C.

The study was conducted to help gain a better understanding of hepatitis C treatment in a patient population that has been under-represented in clinical trials and has been known to have lower sustained SVR rates than non-Latino whites.

"We know that Latino patients with hepatitis C face different challenges when treating this disease. It has been reported that Latinos have more aggressive inflammatory activity and fibrosis progression rates than in non-Latino whites," said Maribel Rodriguez-Torres, M.D., of the Fundacion de Investigacion de Diego in Puerto Rico. "Data from studies like LATINO are important for gaining a better understanding about how patients will respond to treatment and for developing culturally-spe
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SOURCE Roche
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