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Japan approves all-oral hepatitis C dual drug regimen

Japan approves all-oral hepatitis C dual drug regimen

By Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - Japan has approved the first all-oral, interferon- and ribavirin-free treatment regimen for patients with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including those with compensated cirrhosis.

The combination of daclatasvir (Daklinza) and asunaprevir (Sunvepra) from Bristol-Myers Squibb is indicated for patients who are ineligible or intolerant to interferon-based therapy, and in patients who have failed to respond to interferon-based therapy.

"Japan has a unique hepatitis C patient population, many of whom are older and have been unable to take, or respond to, traditional therapies, so we have a real sense of urgency to treat these patients now," study investigator Dr. Kazuaki Chayama of Hiroshima University said in a company news release.

"The approval of the Daklinza+Sunvepra Dual Regimen offers for the first time a treatment option that addresses many of the unmet needs for our HCV patients," Dr. Chayama added.

The approval is supported by results from a Phase III study demonstrating that the 24-week regimen of Daklinza and Sunvepra achieved overall SVR24 (sustained virologic response 24 weeks after the end of treatment; a functional cure) among 84.7% of Japanese HCV patients with genotype 1b.

Among patients 65 years of age or older who were either interferon-ineligible or intolerant, 91.9% achieved SVR24. Further, patients with compensated cirrhosis present at baseline had overall SVR24 rates of 90.9%. The regimen used in the Phase III study resulted in low rates of discontinuation (5%) due to adverse events (AEs). In addition, the rate of serious adverse events (SAEs) was low (5.9%) and few SAEs were experienced by more than one patient. Nasopharyngitis was the most common AE in the study (30.2%).

 
 
 
 

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