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Roche responds to announcement of 'IDEAL' hepatitis C trial results
Date:1/14/2008

nical data and patient and physician preference. We are convinced that physicians and patients will continue to choose PEGASYS/ribavirin combination therapy based on positive experience and sound clinical evidence," said George Abercrombie, President and CEO, Hoffmann-La Roche. "Our current focus at Roche is on advancing the treatment of hepatitis C by optimizing doses and duration of PEGASYS/ribavirin in patients with unmet medical need, while developing new compounds that have the potential to offer a successful outcome to even more patients."

Roche believes that it is critical for patients and physicians to receive complete information to fully understand the results of "IDEAL," so that treatment decisions can be based on sound scientific data.

Please see below for additional information about the "IDEAL" trial, Roche and PEGASYS, including important safety information.

"IDEAL" Trial Design Issues

* Starting doses of ribavirin were different in the Peg-Intron and

PEGASYS arms of the study

* The design calls for a more drastic ribavirin dose reduction for side

effect management in most patients in the PEGASYS arm compared to

patients in the Peg-Intron arms; in some cases, ribavirin dose

reductions for patients in the PEGASYS arm were three times greater

than for patients in the Peg-Intron arms. This is important because a

substantial number of patients being treated for hepatitis C require

their ribavirin dose to be reduced to manage side effects, and this

could have an impact on the efficacy of the regimen

* The PEGASYS arm was not blinded, meaning that patients and physicians

knew which treatment was being administered. Many comparative studies

are blinded to ensure that bias does not compromise the results

* Erythropoetin (EPO) is a medication that is often given to treat

ribavirin-related anemia and help pat
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SOURCE Roche
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