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Pegasys Study Authors Conclude that Patients Successfully Treated,for Hepatitis C Can be Considered ''Cured''

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 21, 2007 - Results from a new study, presented at the 38th annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) conference, showed that more than 99 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who were treated successfully with PEGASYS(R) (peginterferon alfa-2a) had no detectable virus up to seven years later - validating the use of the word "cured" to describe these patients, according to study authors. Currently, the best indicator of treatment success is a sustained viral response (SVR), defined as undetectable hepatitis C virus in the blood six months after the end of treatment. The results announced today are from a long-term follow-up study to determine whether the virus re-emerges in patients who achieve an SVR. (Studies show that, overall, about half of patients with hepatitis C monoinfection can achieve an SVR with PEGASYS and ribavirin treatment, the current standard of care.)

"The results announced today are encouraging because it is rare in the treatment of life-threatening viral diseases that can we tell patients they have the chance for a cure," said Dr. Mitchell L. Shiffman, Professor of Medicine, Chief of Hepatology and Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, and study author. "But in hepatitis C today, we are able to help some patients achieve an outcome that effectively enables them to put their disease behind them."

About the Study (Abstract ID #444)

This study monitored 997 patients (either mono-infected with chronic HCV or co-infected HCV and HIV) who achieved an SVR following treatment with PEGASYS monotherapy or combination therapy with PEGASYS and ribavirin. Serum levels of HCV were monitored on an annual basis for an average of 4.1 years (range 0.4 to 7 years) following successful treatment. Of the 997 patients, 989 (greater than 99 percent) maintained undetectable levels of H
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