Six Week Hepatitis C Drug Regimen Shows High Cure Rates

Thirty-eight of 40 hepatitis C patients treated with 3-drug combination cured in a recent trial.

Thirty-eight of 40 hepatitis C patients treated with 3-drug combination cured in a recent trial.

A 3-drug oral combination therapy for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) generated high cure rates in a clinical trial published recently in The Lancet.

The trial included 2 treatment groups of 20 patients each. The first group received sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) with direct-acting oral therapies ledipasvir and experimental drug GS-9669 over a 6 week duration. The second group received sofosbuvir, ledipasvir, and experimental drug GS-9451 over 6 weeks.

None of the patients in the trial had received prior treatment for HCV infection. At the end of the 6 weeks, a total of 38 of 40 patients were cured of the virus.

In the first group, one volunteer relapsed 2 weeks after the completion of therapy. The other 19 patients were deemed cured after having no detectable HCV 12 weeks after therapy ended.

In the second treatment group, one volunteer was lost to follow-up, while the rest of the 19 patients were deemed cured after having no detectable HCV 12 weeks after therapy ended. All of the patients tolerated the drug regimens well.

An additional group of 20 volunteers received just sofosbuvir and ledipasvir for 12 weeks, with all 20 deemed cured at the end of treatment.

"This short duration, simple therapy for HCV may prove relevant for the global elimination of hepatitis C, where simple, well-tolerated therapy of short duration is required to ensure adherence," the study authors wrote.