Difficult-to-Cure Patients Respond to Merck's Hepatitis C Treatment

A study from Merck has demonstrated high response to grazoprevir/elbasvir with and without ribavirin across various hepatitis C virus populations, including difficult-to-cure patients.

A study from Merck has demonstrated high response to grazoprevir/elbasvir with and without ribavirin (RBV) across various hepatitis C virus (HCV) populations, including difficult-to-cure patients.

The phase 2 clinical trial examined the efficacy of the investigational drug in treatment-naïve cirrhotic patients and those who failed to respond to previously treatment with peg-interferon/ribavirin (PR) for chronic HCV genotype 1 (GT1) infection.

For the treatment-naïve cirrhotic patients and PR null-responders, the rates of sustained viral response (SVR) at 12 weeks ranged from 90% to 100%. The PR-null patients taking RBV for 18 weeks saw the most success.

Among HCV mono-infected and HIV/HCV co-infected patients, the treatment was slightly less effective, as those individuals achieved 87% to 98% SVR at 12 weeks, according to the press release.

Some patients experienced fatigue (23%), headache (20%), nausea (15%), and diarrhea (10%), the release stated.

“Merck is committed to developing an efficacious, well-tolerated therapy suitable for a broad spectrum of patients with HCV,” said Eliav Barr, MD, vice president of infectious diseases at Merck Research Laboratories, in a press release. “We are encouraged by the findings for grazoprevir/elbasvir in the C-WORTHy trial and look forward to advancing our broad phase 3 program, which includes hard-to-cure patients that are of the highest need and least studied to date.”