Naval Medical Center San Diego, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of the Navy , CA , USA.
Introduction: The addition of protease inhibitors such as telaprevir and boceprevir with PEGylated interferon and ribavirin has significantly improved cure rates for genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Simeprevir (TMC435) is a second-generation protease inhibitor that is in development for the treatment of genotype 1 HCV infection. Areas covered: The authors present: i) an overview of Phases I - III clinical trials of simeprevir for HCV infection based on peer-reviewed literature and congress presentations and ii) an evaluation of the efficacy and safety of simeprevir in the treatment of HCV infection. Expert opinion: Simeprevir is a once-daily oral medication that combined with PEGylated interferon and ribavirin appears to be a potent and safe agent to treat genotype 1 HCV infection for patients who are treatment-naïve and prior treatment-failures. Compared to telaprevir and boceprevir, simeprevir will likely be the protease inhibitor of choice for genotype 1 HCV infection based on ease of use, lower rates of adverse events, including rash and anemia, and no significant reported drug-drug interactions. Associated side effects inherent with interferon-based regimens may be problematic for patients. As HCV therapies evolve into interferon-free regimens, simeprevir may potentially be combined with other oral direct-acting agents without interferon to treat HCV infection.