Merck reveals HCV/HIV treatment Phase 2 trial results

Merck announced on Wednesday the results of a Phase 2 clinical trial of its MK-5172/MK-8742 treatment for HIV/Hepatitis C co-infection.

MK-5172/MK-8742 is an oral, once-daily regimen treatment against Hepatitis C infection for patients co-infected with HCV and HIV. The treatment combines MK-5172, an investigational HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor and MK-8742, an investigational HCV NS5A multifaceted duplication inhibitor, to fight HCV in patients also infected with HIV.

The study, which lasted for 12 weeks, resulted in strong HCV suppression and was proven to be safe among patients with HCV Genotype 1 infections.

At week 12 of the study, all 29 study participants who received MK-5172/MK-8742 and ribavirin had HCV RNA levels less than 25 IU/mL. Approximately 90 percent, or 26 out of 29 study participants, who only received MK-5172/MK-8742 showed HCV RNA levels less than 25 IU/mL. The control group, consisting of 13 patients who only had HCV infections, all expressed HCV RNA levels less than 25 IU/mL following MK-5172/8742 treatment.

"We are encouraged by the potential of MK-5172/MK-8742 for the treatment of people living with HIV/HCV co-infection, where there remains a need for additional therapeutic options," Merck Research Laboratories for Infectious Diseases Vice President Dr. Eliav Barr said.

The results of the study were presented at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.