Texas Liver Institute, University of Texas Health San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas.
Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, California.
Orlando Clinical Research Center, Orlando, Florida.
Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Emeryville, California.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals, East Hanover, New Jersey.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Basel, Switzerland.
Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infection with hepatitis C virus is the leading cause of infectious disease mortality in the United States. BZF961 is a novel small molecule inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus NS3-4A protease. Here we present the results of a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multicentered study in treatment-naïve patients with chronic hepatitis C virus genotype-1 infection.
Patients were enrolled sequentially in 2 parts and treated for 3days. BZF961 was administered as monotherapy (500mg BID for 3 days) or in combination with the cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitor ritonavir to boost its exposure (BZF961 10, 20, or 50mg QD or BID).
BZF961 was safe and well tolerated in the patients studied with no serious adverse events. There were no appreciable differences in adverse events among patients who received BZF961, BZF961 with ritonavir, or placebo. There was a significant, clinically meaningful reduction in viral load from baseline in patients treated either with BZF961 500mg every 12hours alone or BZF961 50mg every 12hours in combination with ritonavir. Activity against the hepatitis C virus of the lower-dose regimens was apparent but more modest. There were no relevant changes from baseline viral loads in placebo-treated patients.
Coadministration of ritonavir with BZF961 boosted BZF961 exposure (including Cmin, which is the clinically relevant parameter associated with antiviral activity) in a therapeutic range with less variability compared with BZF961 alone. For strategic reasons, BZF961 is no longer under development.