Black Patients Fare Well on Vertex Hepatitis C Drug
November 1, 2010
In a Phase III study, Vertex Pharmaceutical Inc.'s experimental hepatitis C drug telaprevir boosted sustained viral response rates among black patients, suggest data presented to the 61st annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Boston.
In a subgroup analysis, 62 percent of patients with advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis taking telaprevir achieved SVR, compared with 33 percent on standard therapy.
Another study showed 58 percent of telaprevir patients met criteria for a 24-week treatment. Criteria were undetectable viral levels in the blood at weeks four and 12. Another study showed no benefit from extending therapy to 48 weeks once these criteria were met.
Telaprevir and a similar treatment candidate being developed by Merck & Co. are generating excitement due to their comparatively better SVR rates in a shorter time than standard therapy alone. It is believed that thousands of people with hepatitis C are awaiting approval of these drugs before they initiate treatment.
Vertex plans to complete its application for telaprevir for Food and Drug Administration review this year. Many expect FDA approval to be granted in 2011.
10.30.2010; Bill Berkrot
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