Interferon-free therapy treats hepatitis C in trial
The investigational three-drug hepatitis C combination treatment required 12 weeks of doses to be effective. All of the patients involved in the study had liver cirrhosis. Among them, 112 had not been treated previously for hepatitis C, and another 90 did not have successful treatments.
Trial patients whose therapies had failed in the past may have drug resistance to hepatitis C. These patients only had an 87 percent success rate in eliminating the hepatitis C virus.
"Those with more advanced disease were unlikely to tolerate interferons, and many patients would decide against even getting treatment," Dr. Andrew Muir, chief of the division of gastroenterology at Duke and the study's lead author, said. "For those who could tolerate it, it was only moderately effective."
Combining three drugs -- asunaprevir, daclatasvir and beclabuvir -- has resulted in this novel treatment. None of these drugs have been approved by the FDA, and daclatasvir is the only one that is currently under FDA review.
"The development of interferon-free treatments has been a tremendous step forward in the standard of care," Muir said. "These drugs are highly effective and well-tolerated by patients at all stages of liver disease."
Further details can be found in The Journal of the American Medical Association.