Thursday, August 15, 2013

Boehringer Ingelheim completes patient enrolment of two pivotal Phase III interferon-free hepatitis C clinical trials

15 August 2013

Boehringer Ingelheim announces full patient enrolment for two of its pivotal Phase III interferon-free hepatitis C clinical trials

• Over 950 patients have now been successfully enrolled in the pivotal Phase III HCVerso™1 and 2 trials
• The Phase III study programme includes treatment naïve patients, including those ineligible for interferon and patients with liver cirrhosis
• The milestone coincides with the New England Journal of Medicine publication of SOUND-C2: one of the largest interferon-free studies in genoytpe-1 HCV published to date, forming the basis of the HCVerso™ trials

INGELHEIM, 15 August 2013 – Boehringer Ingelheim today announced that enrolment of over 950 treatment naïve genotype-1b patients in the pivotal Phase III interferon-free HCVerso™ 1 and 2 trials is complete.1,2 The trials are investigating the efficacy and safety of Boehringer Ingelheim’s second generation protease inhibitor faldaprevir* and NS5B polymerase inhibitor deleobuvir (BI 207127)*, in combination with ribavirin. HCVerso™ 1 and 2 include difficult-to-treat patient populations such as those who are ineligible for interferon or those with liver cirrhosis.

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This important developmental milestone coincides with today’s publication of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Phase IIb interferon-free SOUND-C2 study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).3 SOUND-C2 showed viral cure rates (sustained virological response, SVR) of up to 85% in patients infected with genotype-1b (GT-1b) hepatitis C virus (HCV). SOUND-C2 investigated the efficacy and safety of faldaprevir* and deleobuvir* plus ribavirin in treatment-naïve patients with genotype-1a and 1b HCV, the most common types of HCV globally. The study included patients with liver cirrhosis (9%), who showed similar rates of viral cure as patients without cirrhosis.4

Professor Klaus Dugi,
Senior Vice President
Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim

"We are proud to announce the completion of patient recruitment in two of our pivotal HCVerso™ trials. This is an important step towards our goal of delivering an effective and well tolerated cure that will enable patients and doctors to consider an individualised approach for interferon-free HCV therapy," said Professor Klaus Dugi, Senior Vice President Medicine at Boehringer Ingelheim. "The publication of the SOUND-C2 study in the NEJM as well as the speedy recruitment into our pivotal trials provide an indication of the high relevance of interferon-free regimens for the future treatment of HCV. We look forward to the first Phase III results of faldaprevir*, deleobuvir* plus ribavirin in 2014 and the opportunity to explore wider patient populations in the future."

Results from the Phase IIb SOUND-C3 study were also recently presented at the APASL Liver Meeting in Singapore. This follow-up study to SOUND-C2 aimed to further optimise the dosing regimen containing faldaprevir* and deleobuvir* plus ribavirin in treatment-naïve patients (including patients with cirrhosis and those who could not tolerate interferon). SVR rates of 95% were observed in GT-1b infected patients after 16 weeks of treatment.5 The regimen tested in the SOUND-C3 study is now under Phase III evaluation in the HCVerso™ 1 and 2 trials.

Overall tolerability in the SOUND-C trials was good. In the dose-finding study SOUND-C2, 44 of the 362 patients included in the analysis discontinued due to adverse events.3 In SOUND-C3, mild rash and nausea were the most common side-effects. Adverse events of a moderate or higher intensity were rare, with anaemia (16%), fatigue (9%), vomiting (9%) and nausea (9%) being the most frequent adverse events.5

The decision to focus on GT-1b in HCVerso™1 and 2 was based on the higher efficacy seen in this population compared to GT-1a infected patients in the SOUND-C studies (SVR12 in GT-1a patients in SOUND-C2 and SOUND-C3: 58/148 and 2/11 of patients, respectively).3

As part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s long-term commitment to hepatitis C, the company is also evaluating other combinations of investigational hepatitis C compounds that work in different ways. Boehringer Ingelheim’s recent collaboration with Presidio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for a Phase II clinical study investigating an interferon-free, all-oral combination in GT-1a is part of the company’s continued exploration to discover and develop innovative options for the treatment of HCV.

Related: Hepatitis C: Interferon-Free Regimen Works in Over 50% of Patients

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