A late-stage trial showed AbbVie's all-oral hepatitis C regimen cured 96% of patients with genotype 1 virus after only 12 weeks of therapy. Results of this trial, which involved patients who didn't respond to prior treatments, resembled the outcome of another Phase III study released last month that tested the regimen in previously untreated patients. The hepatitis C regimen, which contains three investigational antiviral drugs and ribavirin, is being tested in four more Phase III trials.
The CDC reported Monday that hepatitis A connected to imported frozen pomegranate seeds sickened 151 or more people from March 31 through July 9. The outbreak breaks down to 74 cases in California, 27 in Colorado, 22 in Arizona, nine in New Mexico, eight in Hawaii, six in Nevada, three in Utah and two in Wisconsin.
A draft guidance was published by the U.K. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence endorsing a combination of ribavirin and peginterferon alfa as a treatment option for chronic forms of hepatitis C in young people and children. As a result, the National Health Service's treatment menu will now include Merck Sharp and Dohme's ViraferonPeg, or peginterferon alfa-2b, and Roche's Pegasys, or peginterferon alfa-2a, as they are the only licensed drugs in the U.K. to treat the condition. The combination treatment effectively offers the equivalent of a cure by reducing the virus to undetectable levels, NICE's independent Appraisal Committee concluded.
The FDA granted priority-review status to Janssen Research & Development and Medivir's experimental drug simeprevir as a treatment for genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C. Janssen said the FDA is likely to make a final decision this year. Simeprevir, intended to be taken with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, inhibits the protease enzyme that allows the virus to reproduce itself inside cells.
Presidio Pharmaceuticals and Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to collaborate in a midstage clinical study of an interferon-free, combination therapy for hepatitis C. The trial, which will start next quarter, will evaluate Presidio's PPI-668, in combination with Boehringer's protease inhibitors BI201335 and BI207127.