A new treatment for hepatitis C which works to inhibit its replication has provided impressive results.
The R1626 investigational treatment had a positive end-of-treatment response rate when given in combination with the current standard of care, pegylated interferon and ribivarin.
R1626 belongs to a new class of oral antivirals called polymerase inhibitors that directly target the hepatitis C virus to prevent replication.
It is hoped this innovative combination will increase the number of patients who manage to clear the hepatitis C virus, thereby curing them of a disease that can lead to liver cirrhosis, cancer and death.
Results from the phase II study show levels of the hepatitis C virus were undetectable in 84% of patients infected with genotype 1 virus – the most difficult to treat – when patients were treated for four weeks with this triple combination, followed by 44 weeks of Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) and Copegus (ribavirin).
This was significantly higher than in patients treated with Pegasys and Copegus alone for the entire 48-week treatment period (65%).
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