An investigational combination of 3 interferon-free drugs has proven effective at treating hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a recent trial. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examined a 12-week dose of daclatasvir, asunaprevir, and beclabuvir in patients with HCV-related liver cirrhosis. None of the 3 medications has yet been approved for use in the United States, although daclatasvir is currently under review by the FDA.
The researchers found that the combination cleared HCV in 93% of trial participants who had not been previously treated, as well as in 87% of those with past failed therapies. However, the addition of a fourth drug, ribavirin, increased the cure rate of patients with past failed therapies to 93%, comparable to that of patients who were receiving treatment for the first time.
“The development of interferon-free treatments has been a tremendous step forward in the standard of care,” said lead author Andrew Muir, MD, MHS, in a press release. “These drugs are highly effective and well tolerated by patients at all stages of liver disease.”