Cambridge, Mass.-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. is launching a study to determine whether some patients taking its hepatitis C drug Incivek (telaprevir) can benefit from a shorter course of treatment. Approved five months ago by federal regulators, Incivek is used as one part of combination drug therapy lasting 24 to 48 weeks. Some patients respond more quickly, however, leading the company to investigate the efficacy of a 12-week regimen for them. "As we enter a new era of treatment for hepatitis C, one of our goals is to offer patients a high chance of cure in the shortest amount of time," said Robert Kauffman, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Vertex. "This study is one of several ways Vertex is exploring the potential for people with hepatitis C to achieve high viral cure rates with just 12 weeks of total treatment."
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