Advertisement covers The 19th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2012)

CROI 2012: Two Hepatitis C Drugs Greatly Increase HCV Cure Rates in Coinfected People

March 26, 2012

In 2011, two protease inhibitors for treating hepatitis C (HCV) came to market: Incivek (telaprevir) and Victrelis (boceprevir).  They were approved only for mono-infected individuals, or those with HCV only. However, between one-quarter and one-third of people living with HIV also have hepatitis, and knowing how well both drugs perform in co-infected people is urgently needed.

The results from two co-infection studies were presented in March at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) held in Seattle.  Both looked at the undetectable HCV viral loads at 12 weeks after people had ended their 48 weeks of Incivek or Victrelis treatments (plus standard treatment drugs). This time point is important as it helps predict the "viral cure" of HCV, or undetectable HCV viral load at week 24 after the end of HCV treatment.

One study showed that 74% of the people who took Incivek  had undetectable HCV viral load. The other study showed that 61% who took Victrelis had undetectable HCV viral load. Both results are significantly higher than the low cure rates seen in those who use the current standard of treatment (pegylated interferon + ribavirin).

These were independent studies, so comparing the drugs' advantages and/or disadvantages to each is difficult. It's unknown at this time whether a head-to-head study of both drugs will be conducted, which would offer a truer comparison of the drugs.

This article was provided by Project Inform. Visit Project Inform's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.

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