CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq:VRTX - News) today announced that abstracts from its hepatitis C program, including two late-breaking posters from studies of INCIVEK™ (telaprevir) tablets and VX-222, were accepted for presentation at The Liver Meeting®, the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco, November 4-8, 2011.
New data, including sustained viral response (SVR, or viral cure) results, from a Phase 2 study evaluating short durations of 12- and 24-week regimens of VX-222 in combination with INCIVEK (in-SEE-veck), pegylated-interferon and ribavirin in people with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C who were new to treatment will be presented for the first time. Additionally, new data from a Phase 2 study evaluating INCIVEK combination treatment in people co-infected with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) will be presented at the meeting. All people in this study were new to hepatitis C treatment.
“INCIVEK combination therapy has successfully increased viral cure rates and shortened total treatment time for the majority of people with hepatitis C who are being treated for the first time, but we have more to do,” said Peter Mueller, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Global Research and Development at Vertex. “Our ongoing research is aimed at further improving treatment for hepatitis C by exploring the use of INCIVEK among those in critical need of more effective medicines and evaluating combinations, including some without interferon, that may offer higher cure rates and shorter treatment times.”
The accepted abstracts are now available on the AASLD website at https://www.aasld.org/lm2011.
INCIVEK Oral Presentations
1. #31: “Efficacy and safety of telaprevir-based regimens in cirrhotic patients with HCV genotype 1 and prior peginterferon/ribavirin treatment failure: subanalysis of the REALIZE Phase III study.” November 6, 2011, 3:00 p.m. PDT.
2. #32: “Predictors of virologic response with telaprevir-based combination treatment in HCV genotype 1-infected patients with prior peginterferon/ribavirin treatment failure: post-hoc analysis of the Phase III REALIZE study.” November 6, 2011, 3:15 p.m. PDT.
3. #35: “Retreatment with telaprevir/Peg-IFN/RBV after a short exposure to telaprevir in Phase I studies: interim results from a Phase IIIb rollover trial (C219).” November 6, 2011, 4:00 p.m. PDT.
4. #248: “Follow-up of SVR Durability and Viral Resistance in Patients with Chronic Hepatitis C Treated with Telaprevir-Based Regimens: Interim Analysis of the EXTEND Study.” November 8, 2011, 11:00 a.m. PDT.
Vertex Late-Breaking Poster Presentations
1. #LB-8: “Telaprevir Combination with Peginterferon Alfa-2a/Ribavirin in HCV/HIV Coinfected Patients: 24-Week Treatment Interim Analysis.” November 7, 2011.
2. #LB-14: “VX-222/telaprevir in Combination with Peginterferon Alfa-2a and Ribavirin in Treatment-naïve Genotype 1 HCV Patients Treated for 12 Weeks: ZENITH Study, SVR12 Interim Analysis.” November 7, 2011.
Vertex Poster Presentations
1. #943: “Projections Using Decision-Analytic Modeling of Long-Term Clinical Value of Telaprevir for the Treatment of HCV Patients who had Failed Prior Peginterferon/Ribavirin Treatment.” November 6, 2011.
2. #1328: “Summary of Clinical Virology Findings from Clinical Trials of Telaprevir.” November 7, 2011.
3. #1331: “Different likelihood of achieving SVR on a telaprevir-containing regimen among null responders, partial responders and relapsers irrespective of similar responses after a peginterferon/ribavirin 4-week lead-in phase: REALIZE study subanalysis.” November 7, 2011. 4. #1368: “Impact of anemia and ribavirin dose reduction on SVR to a telaprevir-based regimen in patients with HCV genotype 1 and prior peginterferon/ribavirin treatment failure in the Phase III REALIZE study.” November 7, 2011.
5. #1369: “Impact of insulin resistance on virologic response to a telaprevir-based regimen in patients with HCV genotype 1 and prior peginterferon/ribavirin treatment failure: post-hoc analysis of the REALIZE Phase III study.” November 7, 2011.
6. #2105: “Sustained Virologic Response Rates and Viral Resistance Profiles Were Similar in Patients Treated with a Telaprevir-Based Regimen Regardless of Liver Fibrosis Stage.” November 8, 2011.
INCIVEK is an oral medicine that acts directly on the hepatitis C virus protease, an enzyme essential for viral replication. INCIVEK was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2011 and by Health Canada in August 2011 for people with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C with compensated liver disease (some level of damage to the liver but the liver still functions), including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). INCIVEK is approved for people who are new to treatment, and for people who were treated previously but who did not achieve a sustained viral response or viral cure (relapsers, partial responders and null responders).
INCIVEK (750 mg) is given as two 375 mg tablets three times daily for 12 weeks in combination with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin. Each monthly package of INCIVEK contains four weekly boxes that include daily blister strips. After the first 12 weeks, all patients stop receiving INCIVEK and continue treatment with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone for an additional 12 weeks or 36 weeks of treatment. With INCIVEK combination therapy, more than 60 percent of people treated for the first time, as well as those who relapsed after previous therapy, are expected to complete all treatment in 24 weeks. All other patients receive a total of 48 weeks of treatment.
Rash and anemia are the most serious side effects associated with INCIVEK, which led to treatment discontinuation in about 1 percent of people in clinical studies. The most common side effects reported with INCIVEK combination treatment include fatigue, itching, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anal or rectal problems, and taste changes.
Vertex developed telaprevir in collaboration with Tibotec BVBA and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma. Vertex has rights to commercialize telaprevir in North America where it is being marketed under the brand name INCIVEK (in-SEE-veck). Through its affiliate, Janssen, Tibotec has rights to commercialize telaprevir in Europe, South America, Australia, the Middle East and certain other countries. In September 2011, telaprevir was approved in the European Union and Switzerland. Telaprevir is known as INCIVO® in Europe. Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has rights to commercialize telaprevir in Japan and certain Far East countries. In September 2011, telaprevir was approved in Japan and will be known as Telavic®.
VX-222 is an oral medicine in development that is a non-nucleoside inhibitor of the HCV NS5B polymerase. VX-222 is being evaluated in a Phase 2 study in combination with INCIVEK and ribavirin, with and without pegylated-interferon. Vertex retains worldwide commercial rights to VX-222.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
INCIVEK™ (telaprevir) is a prescription medicine used with the medicines peginterferon alfa and ribavirin to treat chronic (lasting a long time) hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adults with stable liver problems, who have not been treated before or who have failed previous treatment. It is not known if INCIVEK is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
Important Safety Information
INCIVEK should always be taken in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. Ribavirin may cause birth defects or death of an unborn baby. Therefore, a patient should not take INCIVEK combination treatment if she is pregnant or may become pregnant, or if he is a man with a sexual partner who is pregnant. Patients must use two forms of effective birth control during treatment and for the 6 months after treatment with these medicines.
INCIVEK and other medicines can affect each other and can also cause side effects that can be serious or life threatening. There are certain medicines patients cannot take with INCIVEK combination treatment. Patients should tell their healthcare providers about all the medicines they take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.
INCIVEK can cause serious side effects including rash and anemia. The most common side effects of INCIVEK include itching, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anal or rectal problems, taste changes and tiredness. There are other possible side effects of INCIVEK, and side effects associated with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin also apply to INCIVEK combination treatment. Patients should tell their healthcare providers about any side effect that bothers them or doesn't go away.
Please see full Prescribing Information for INCIVEK including the Medication Guide, available at www.INCIVEK.com.
INCIVEK™ is a trademark of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.
PEGASYS® and COPEGUS® are registered trademarks of Hoffmann-La Roche.
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus, which is spread through direct contact with the blood of infected people and ultimately affects the liver.1 Chronic hepatitis C can lead to serious and life-threatening liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer.1 Though many people with hepatitis C may not experience symptoms, others may have symptoms such as fatigue, fever, jaundice and abdominal pain.1
Unlike HIV and hepatitis B virus, chronic hepatitis C can be cured.2 However, approximately 60 percent of people do not achieve SVR,3,4,5 or viral cure,6 after treatment with 48 weeks of pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone. If treatment is not successful and a person does not achieve a viral cure, they remain at an increased risk for progressive liver disease.7,8
More than 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis C.6 In the United States, nearly 4 million people have chronic hepatitis C and 75 percent of them are unaware of their infection.9 Hepatitis C is four times more prevalent in the United States compared to HIV.9 The majority of people with hepatitis C in the United States were born between 1946 and 1964, accounting for two of every three people with chronic hepatitis C.10 Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplantations in the United States and is reported to contribute to 4,600 to 12,000 deaths annually.11,12 By 2029, total annual medical costs in the United States for people with hepatitis C are expected to more than double, from $30 billion in 2009 to approximately $85 billion.9
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding Vertex’s aim to further improve treatment for hepatitis C by exploring the use of INCIVEK among those in critical need of more effective medicines and evaluating combinations that may offer higher cure rates and shorter treatment times. While the company believes the forward-looking statements contained in this press release are accurate, there are a number of factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Those risks and uncertainties include, among other things, future scientific, clinical, competitive or other market factors may adversely affect the potential for INCIVEK-based therapies and the other risks listed under Risk Factors in Vertex's annual report and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available through Vertex's website at www.vrtx.com. Vertex disclaims any obligation to update the information contained in this press release as new information becomes available.
Vertex creates new possibilities in medicine. Our team discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapies so people with serious diseases can lead better lives.
Vertex scientists and our collaborators are working on new medicines to cure or significantly advance the treatment of hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and other life-threatening diseases.
Founded more than 20 years ago in Cambridge, MA, we now have ongoing worldwide research programs and sites in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis C Fact Sheet: CDC Viral Hepatitis. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/PDFs/HepCGeneralFactSheet.pdf. Accessed March 21, 2011.
2 Pearlman BL and Traub N. Sustained Virologic Response to Antiviral Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection: A Cure and So Much More. Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Apr;52(7):889-900. 3 Manns MP, McHutchison JG, Gordon SC, et al. Peginterferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin compared with interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin for initial treatment of chronic hepatitis C: a randomised trial. Lancet. 2001;358:958-965.
4 Fried MW, Shiffman ML, Reddy KR, et al. Peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus infection. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:975-982.
5 McHutchison JG, Lawitz EJ, Shiffman ML, et al; IDEAL Study Team. Peginterferon alfa-2b or alfa-2a with ribavirin for treatment of hepatitis C infection. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:580-593.
6 Ghany MG, Strader DB, Thomas DL, Seeff, LB. Diagnosis, management and treatment of hepatitis C; An update. Hepatology. 2009;49 (4):1-40.
7 Morgan TR, Ghany MG, Kim HY, Snow KK, Lindsay K, Lok AS. Outcome of sustained virological responders and non-responders in the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) trial. Hepatology. 2008;50(Suppl 4):357A (Abstract 115).
8 Veldt BJ, Heathcote J, Wedmeyer H. Sustained virologic response and clinical outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced fibrosis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2007; 147: 677-684.
9 Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Hepatitis and liver cancer: a national strategy for prevention and control of hepatitis B and C. Colvin HM and Mitchell AE, ed. Available at: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/Hepatitis-and-Liver-Cancer-A-National-Strategy-for-Prevention-and-Control-of-Hepatitis-B-and-C.aspx. Updated January 11, 2010. Accessed March 21, 2011.
10 Pyenson B, Fitch K, Iwasaki K. Consequences of hepatitis C virus (HCV): Costs of a baby boomer epidemic of liver disease. Available at: http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/051809_01.htm. Updated May 2009. Accessed March 21, 2011. This report was commissioned by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
11 Volk MI, Tocco R, Saini S, Lok, ASF. Public health impact of antiviral therapy for hepatitis C in the United States. Hepatology. 2009;50(6):1750-1755.
12 Davis GL, Alter MJ, El-Serag H, Poynard T, Jennings LW. Aging of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected persons in the United States: A multiple cohort model of HCV prevalence and disease progression. Gastroenterology. 2010;138:513-521.
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