Schering-Plough’s experimental investigational oral hepatitis C protease inhibitor, in combination with peginterferon and ribavirin has shown encouraging effects in the treatment of hepatitis C.
Boceprevir showed sustained virologic response (SVR) rates with 28 weeks of therapy and nearly doubled SVR with 48 weeks of therapy compared to current standard of care, peginterferon and ribavirin (control group) for 48 weeks.
“The high response rates seen with boceprevir in this study are very exciting, especially given that genotype 1 is the most common and hardest to treat form of hepatitis C,” said Paul Kwo, lead investigator of the study.
“Boceprevir was well tolerated by patients in this study, and the use of the 4-week lead-in prior to the addition of boceprevir appears to reduce the incidence of viral breakthrough regardless of treatment duration and may improve SVR over a 48-week treatment period,” he added.
The main goal of the 595-patient trial (SPRINT-1) was to see the rate at which patients maintained a sustained viral response (SVR), 24 weeks following the end of treatment.
Safety data from the study showed that the most common adverse events reported in the boceprevir arms were fatigue, anemia, nausea and headache.
In conjunction with these results, the company has reported positive results from a phase III study of a potential psoriatic arthritis drug.