New hepatitis C drug shows potential in phase 2 trials

The addition of danoprevir to the current treatment regimen for patients with hepatitis C leads to high rates of remission, according to a new article in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. The current standard of care for hepatitis C patients includes a combination of peginterferon and ribavirin.

"Despite recent advances, the current hepatitis C is burdensome on the patient and prone to adverse events," said Patrick Marcellin, lead study author from the Service d'Hépatologie and Inserm CRB3, Hôpital Beaujon, APHP University of Paris. "The promising results from this study offer hope that danoprevir can improve the quality of life for patients suffering from this disease."

Investigators conducted a phase 2, randomized, placebo-controlled study and found that, within just one week of treatment, the addition of danoprevir to the current treatment regimen (peginterferon alfa-2a/ribavirin) led to reductions in levels of hepatitis C virus in the blood. Overall, danoprevir was well tolerated and demonstrated an 85 percent sustained rate (or no detectable virus in the patient's blood after six months).

Importantly, 79 percent of patients who added danoprevir to their treatment regimen achieved an early virologic response and were eligible for a shortened treatment schedule.

Studies of lower doses of danoprevir on top of the current standard of care, to reduce overall danoprevir exposure while maintaining the drug's effectiveness, are underway. Interim effectiveness and safety data are promising.

Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus, which is spread through direct contact with the blood of infected people and ultimately affects the liver. Chronic hepatitis C can lead to serious and life-threatening liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or cancer. Though many people with hepatitis C may not experience symptoms, others may have symptoms such as fatigue, fever, jaundice and abdominal pain. For more information on , please read the AGA brochure "Understanding Hepatitis."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Coffee drinking improves hepatitis C treatment response

Jun 07, 2011

Advanced hepatitis C patients with chronic liver disease may benefit from drinking coffee during treatment, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) ...

US approves second new hepatitis C drug

May 23, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Incivek to treat hepatitis C when taken along with the current two-drug regimen, marking the second such drug approval this month.

Recommended for you

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

9 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

Jan 30, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.