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Treatment with PEGASYS(R)/COPEGUS(TM) Provides Hope for Hepatitis C Patients Whose Infection Did Not Initially Respond to Peg-Intron(R)/Ribavirin
Date:11/2/2007

- Response at 12 weeks is a powerful predictor of eventual treatment

success -

BOSTON, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Roche today announced final results from the REPEAT study, which demonstrated that treatment with once-weekly PEGASYS(R) (peginterferon alfa-2a) and daily COPEGUS(TM) (ribavirin) for 72 weeks is a promising treatment option for patients whose infection did not respond to previous treatment with another pegylated interferon (Peg- Intron(R), peginterferon alfa-2b) and ribavirin. Further, the results showed that response at 12 weeks was a powerful predictor of the eventual outcome: the majority of patients with undetectable virus at 12 weeks went on to achieve a sustained virological response (SVR) after 72 weeks of treatment, while few patients with detectable virus at 12 weeks achieved SVR. These data were presented in an oral session at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), being held in Boston, Nov. 2-6.

"One of the greatest areas of need in hepatitis C today is to find solutions for patients who have not seen treatment success with an initial course of therapy. REPEAT is an important study which adds significantly to our knowledge about how to manage these patients, demonstrating that extending treatment with PEGASYS and COPEGUS is a promising option," said Donald Jensen, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Chicago Hospital in Chicago, and lead investigator in REPEAT. "A significant finding from REPEAT is confirmation of the reliability of using a patient's response at 12 weeks as a predictor of treatment success, even in patients with cirrhosis. This means that patients who achieve undetectable virus at 12 weeks can continue treatment with a good likelihood of success. It also means that clinicians can confidently discontinue treatment in patients who do not achieve an early response."


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