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Boceprevir: Effective in Previous Non-Responders

December 23, 2010

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Results -- According to Changes in HCV Viral Load at Week 4

In boceprevir studies, including the present one, for the first four weeks of therapy participants received peginterferon + ribavirin. The purpose of this lead-in phase of peginterferon is to assess participants' ability to respond to peginterferon and assess any changes in HCV viral load. Among participants in the present study whose HCV viral loads fell by at least one log after the first four weeks of therapy (in other words, who had a significant response to peginterferon), SVRs were as follows:

  • Group 1 (control; peginterferon + ribavirin): 25%
  • Group 2 (boceprevir + peginterferon + ribavirin): 79%
  • Group 3 (boceprevir response-guided therapy): 73%

Results -- Safety

One death occurred during the Respond 2 study in a person who received boceprevir.

Most side effects were evenly distributed across all three groups, except for these which were more common among boceprevir users:

  • anemia
  • altered sense of taste

Anemia occurred as follows:

  • Group 1 (control; peginterferon + ribavirin): 20%
  • Group 2 (boceprevir + peginterferon + ribavirin): 46%
  • Group 3 (boceprevir response-guided therapy): 43%

Altered sense of taste occurred in the following proportion of participants:

  • Group 1 (control; peginterferon + ribavirin): 11%
  • Group 2 (boceprevir + peginterferon + ribavirin): 43%
  • Group 3 (boceprevir response-guided therapy): 45%


The use of boceprevir significantly increased the changes of SVR even in participants who had not previously responded to peginterferon therapy. Both strategies of boceprevir use (response-guided and taking it for 44 weeks) seemed equally effective in people whose previous treatment with peginterferon + ribavirin had failed.

As in other studies, boceprevir was associated with an increased risk of anemia and altered sense of taste in the present study.


  1. Bacon BR, Gordon SC, Lawitz E, et al. HCV Respond-2 Final Results: High sustained virologic response among genotype 1 previous non-responders and relapsers to peginterferon/ribavirin when re-treated with boceprevir plus Pegintron (peginterferon alfa-2b)/ribavirin. In: Program and abstracts of the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, 29 October - 2 November, 2010, Boston, MA.
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This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. It is a part of the publication TreatmentUpdate. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
See Also
More News and Research on Victrelis (Boceprevir)

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