Recent study shows adding nucleoside polymerase inhibitor (NPI) mericitabine to a pegylated interferon and ribavirin regimen for patients with chronic HCV safely improved treatment efficacy
Source: Pockros PJ., Hepatology. 2013;doi:10.1002/hep.26275
February 8, 2013 – In a phase 2b, multicenter, double blind trial, researchers randomly assigned treatment-naive patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 or 4 to receive either 1,000 mg mericitabine (Genentech) (n=81) or placebo (n=85) twice daily for 24 weeks, in addition to a 48-week regimen of pegylated interferon alfa-2a and ribavirin. Treated patients who achieved extended rapid virologic response (eRVR, defined as HCV RNA levels below 15 IU/mL between weeks 4 and 22) discontinued therapy after 24 weeks, while remaining patients completed the peginterferon/ribavirin regimen.
Paul J. Pockros: “Most believe that nucleoside polymerase inhibitors [NPI] will be the backbone of antiviral therapies for HCV,” researcher Paul J. Pockros, MD, director of the Liver Disease Center and the SC Liver Research Consortium at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, Calif., told Healio.com. “The first NPI was R1626 (balapiravir), [which] proved to be potent, but toxic. Therefore, the critical need was to develop a safe NPI.”