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New Anti-Hepatitis C Agents: An Update From the 3rd International Conference on Viral Hepatitis

By Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D.

April 30, 2013

International Conference on Viral Hepatitis 2013

A pair of noteworthy studies examining new agents used in the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV) infection were presented in late March at the 3rd International Conference on Viral Hepatitis (ICVH 2013) in New York City.

Results of the SOUND-C2 phase 2b clinical study, which is exploring combination HCV treatment that includes the new HCV protease inhibitor faldaprevir (FDV, BI201335) and the non-nucleoside NS5B inhibitor BI207127, were presented by Federico Mensa, M.D., from Boehringer Ingelheim (Abstract 14). In this study, the two-drug combination showed sustained virologic response (SVR) rates between 52% and 69% when used alongside ribavirin; SVR dropped to 39% in the ribavirin-free treatment arm. In multivariate analyses, infection with HCV genotype 1, IL28B subtype and gender were predictors of SVR.

In vitro data on MK-5172 (a second-generation HCV protease inhibitor) and MK-8742 (an NS5A inhibitor) were presented by Frederick Lahser, Ph.D., from Merck (Abstract 28). Perhaps not surprising, but nonetheless confirmatory, the combination of the protease inhibitor and NS5A inhibitor produced additive effects in cell culture. MK-5172 appears to have a high barrier to the emergence or resistance-associated variants, particularly when combined with the NS5A inhibitor.

This is part of a series of articles summarizing ICVH 2013. Read the other articles in the series:

Benjamin Young, M.D., Ph.D., is the vice president and chief medical officer of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, one of the joint sponsors of ICVH 2013. Dr. Young is also an adjunct professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Click here to read a more detailed bio of Dr. Young, which includes financial disclosure information.

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