Showing posts with label Harvoni® (Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harvoni® (Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir). Show all posts

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

China's National Medical Products Administration Approves Harvoni®

China’s National Medical Products Administration Approves Harvoni® (Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir) for Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1-6

--Harvoni Offers Highly Effective, Short-Duration, Pan-Genotypic Treatment for Chinese Patients with HCV Infection--

--Harvoni Achieved Cure Rate (SVR12) of 100 Percent in Clinical Trial of Chinese Patients with Genotype 1--

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 4, 2018-- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) announced today that the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has approved Harvoni® (ledipasvir 90 mg/sofosbuvir 400 mg) in China for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1-6 infection in adults and adolescents aged 12 to 18 years.

Hepatitis C is a significant public health challenge. Nearly 10 million people in China are estimated to have chronic HCV, with approximately 58 percent having HCV genotype 1 infection.

“The multicenter clinical trials in China have shown that the once-daily single tablet treatment regimen of Harvoni achieved a 100% SVR12 (defined as undetectable HCV RNA 12 weeks after completing therapy) rate in treatment patients with genotype 1 HCV infection,” said Professor Lai Wei, Peking University People’s Hospital and Institute of Hepatology, Beijing.

“Gilead has continued to develop and deliver new treatments for HCV to help enable people with HCV the potential to be cured,” said John McHutchison, AO, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Research and Development, Gilead Sciences. “We are pleased to offer an important new treatment option that can help patients achieve HCV cure and further support efforts to stem the epidemic in China.”

The approval of Harvoni in China is supported by an open-label, Phase 3b study, which was conducted at 18 study centers in mainland China between May 2016 and July 2017. The study evaluated 12 weeks of treatment with Harvoni in 206 genotype 1 HCV patients, including treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

SVR in patients with HCV genotype 6 treated with ledipasvir+sofosbuvir or sofosbuvir+velpatasvir

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2018 Nov 22. https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.15043 . [Epub ahead of print]

Sustained virologic response rates in patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 6 treated with ledipasvir+sofosbuvir or sofosbuvir+velpatasvir
Emily Nguyen Sam Trinh Huy Trinh Huy Nguyen Khanh Nguyen Aivien Do Brian Levitt Son Do My Nguyen Treta Purohit Eugenie Shieh Mindie H. Nguyen 

First published: 22 November 2018


Abstract
BACKGROUND: 
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 6 (GT 6) is the predominant genotype among certain Asian populations. The availability of newer DAA options is limited in many parts of Asia.

AIM: 
To compare sustained virologic response (SVR-12) rates between ledipasvir and sofosbuvir (LDV+SOF) and velpatasvir+SOF (SOF+VEL) for patients with HCVGT6 infection.

METHOD: 
Retrospective study of consecutive adult HCVGT6 patients identified via ICD 9 code: 070.5 from United States treatment centers. Treatment was LDV+SOF or SOF+VEL for 8-24 weeks. A 1:1 propensity score matching (PSM) on HCV RNA, cirrhosis, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, platelets, and fibrosis score was conducted among the treatment-naïve HCVGT6 patients to balance groups and isolate treatment effects.

RESULTS: 
After exclusion criteria, 149 patients remained (n = 135 treatment-naïve; n = 14 treatment-experienced). The mean age was 63.8 ± 10.2 years, 66.9% male, and 93.9% Vietnamese. In treatment-naïve arm, 52.2% LDV+SOF cohort were cirrhotic compared to 11.6% SOF+VEL cohort (P < 0.0001). SVR-12 for LDV+SOF was 96.4% and 100% for the SOF+VEL cohort (P = 0.22). SVR-12 for cirrhotic patients was 95.4% (n = 41/43) for LDV+SOF and 100.0% (n = 5/5) for SOF+VEL (P = 0.62). After PSM (n = 33 per group), LDV+SOF SVR-12 rate was 97.0% compared to SOF+VEL SVR-12 of 100% (P = 0.31). The treatment-experienced group (n = 14), were all treated with LDV+SOF-SVR-12 of 92.3%.

CONCLUSION: 
Whether treatment-naïve, treatment-experienced, or cirrhotic patients with HCV GT 6 residing in the US had excellent outcomes when treated with SOF+VEL or LDV+SOF. Since LDV+SOF is more readily available globally, our results may provide clinicians with a treatment option when cost and availability limit the treatment choice.

Full-Text Online:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/apt.15043

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sofosbuvir/ledipasvir cures most young children with hepatitis C

Sofosbuvir/ledipasvir cures most young children with hepatitis C
Liz Highleyman 
Published: 13 November 2018
Almost all young children ages 3 to 6 years with chronic hepatitis C achieved sustained virological response after 12 weeks of treatment using sofosbuvir/ledipasvir oral granules, according to findings presented at the 2018 AASLD Liver Meeting in San Francisco.

The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is low among children in Europe and the US, though there is concern that the rate may be rising in the US as more young women become infected as a consequence of the burgeoning opioid epidemic. In some resource-limited countries such as Egypt, HCV among children is much more common.

The advent of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) has revolutionised the treatment of hepatitis C for adults. These include Gilead Science's HCV polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir (marketed alone as Sovaldi) and NS5A inhibitor ledipasvir, which are co-formulated in a 400/90mg once-daily tablet (Harvoni). 

Twitter - @infohep

On Twitter 
Full-text article downloaded & shared via twitter by Henry E. Chang:
Safety & efficacy of LDV-SOF with or without RBV for chronic hepatitis C in children ages 6-11.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Gilead Presents Latest Data from Viral Hepatitis Research Programs at The Liver Meeting® 2018

November 09, 2018

– Data Demonstrate Sofosbuvir-Based Regimens Achieve High Cure Rates in Hepatitis C Patient Populations with Unmet Need –
– Early Data from Gilead’s Functional Hepatitis B Cure Program Suggest Activation of Immune Cells Crucial to Viral Clearance –
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 9, 2018-- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced results from studies investigating Epclusa® (sofosbuvir 400mg/velpatasvir 100mg) in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients with severe renal impairment undergoing dialysis and Harvoni® (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) in pediatric HCV patients aged three to five years, adding to the efficacy and safety profile of sofosbuvir-based regimens across diverse patient populations. These results, along with data from Gilead’s hepatitis B virus (HBV) cure development program, are being presented at The Liver Meeting® 2018 in San Francisco this week.
“Our scientific leadership has helped transform the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection and we remain committed to ensuring effective and well-tolerated treatment options for a broad range of patient populations.” said John McHutchison, AO, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, Head of Research and Development, Gilead Sciences. “For patients with chronic hepatitis B infection, we are intensifying our efforts to advance research and development toward a functional cure.”
Further Progress in the Treatment of Hepatitis C
Results from an open-label Phase 2 study demonstrated that treatment with the once-daily single-tablet regimen of Epclusa for 12 weeks in patients with genotype 1, 2, 3, 4 or 6 HCV and severe renal impairment undergoing dialysis resulted in cure rates (SVR12, or undetectable viral load 12 weeks after completion of therapy) of 95 percent (n=56/59) with only two patients experiencing virologic failure. The most common adverse events (AEs) (>10 percent) were headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and insomnia. No patients discontinued therapy due to an adverse event.
In another open-label Phase 2 study, children aged three to five years old with genotype 1 or 4 HCV infection received weight-based oral dosing of ledipasvir/sofosbuvir granules 33.75 mg/150 mg if < 17 kg or 45 mg/ 200 mg if ≥ 17 kg) once-daily for 12 weeks. Overall, 97 percent (n=33/34) of the patients were cured, and none experienced virologic failure. The most common AEs (>10 percent) were vomiting, cough, pyrexia, rhinorrhea and streptococcal pharyngitis. One patient discontinued treatment due to an adverse event of abnormal drug taste.
The use of Epclusa and Harvoni, including granules formulation, in the aforementioned patient populations is investigational; their safety and efficacy have not been established. The granule formulation is not approved. Epclusa and Harvoni are both indicated in the US for the treatment of chronic HCV infection in patients with no cirrhosis or compensated cirrhosis: Epclusa for adults with genotypes 1-6; and Harvoni for patients 12 years and older (or ≥35 kg) with genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6. The US product labels for Epclusa and Harvoni each contain a Boxed Warning for the risk of hepatitis B reactivation in HCV/HBV co-infected patients. See below for US Important Safety Information.
Hepatitis B Cure Research
Gilead is presenting data on GS-9688, an investigational, oral selective toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) agonist, one of several compounds under investigation as part of Gilead’s HBV cure program. The data support continued development of GS-9688 as a potential therapeutic approach for achieving a functional cure for patients with chronic HBV infection.
In the first-in-human, healthy volunteer safety study, GS-9688 was well-tolerated at single ascending doses up to 5mg and resulted in pharmacodynamic activity as demonstrated by the production of the systemic cytokines IL-1RA and IL-12p40 and by the activation of key relevant immune cells including natural killer (NK) cells and mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells. The most commonly reported AEs among people receiving doses up to and including 5 mg were nausea and vomiting. There were no reports of Grade 3 or higher AEs, laboratory AEs or serious adverse events (SAEs) and no discontinuations or deaths.
In a Phase 1b safety and tolerability study of GS-9688 in HBV chronically infected patients, dose-dependent activation of the cytokines IL-12p40 and IL-1RA was demonstrated with once weekly dosing for up to 4 weeks in viremic and virally-suppressed patients. There were no reports of SAEs; the most common AEs were headache and nausea. Based on these data, GS-9688 is currently being evaluated in Phase 2 studies in patients with chronic hepatitis B.
GS-9688 is an investigational agent and not approved; its safety and efficacy have not been established.
Latest Research in Hepatitis B Treatment
Presentations on Vemlidy® (tenofovir alafenamide 25mg, TAF) add further evidence to its established safety and efficacy profile in adults with chronic HBV and compensated liver disease, including longer term data on the safety of Vemlidy in virologically suppressed HBV patients. Through three years of treatment, patients originally randomized to receive TAF continued to show an improved bone and renal safety profile compared to treatment with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300mg (TDF) with maintained viral suppression. In a separate study in post-liver transplant patients virally suppressed on TDF-based regimens, switching to TAF maintained viral suppression in all TAF-treated patients with improvements in renal function and bone mineral density, after 48 weeks of treatment.
The use of Vemlidy in post-liver transplant patients is investigational; its safety and efficacy have not been established. Vemlidy is indicated in the US for the treatment of chronic HBV infection in adults with compensated liver disease. The US Prescribing Information for VEMLIDY contains a Boxed Warning regarding the risk of post treatment severe acute exacerbation of hepatitis B; see below for Important Safety Information.
US Important Safety Information About Epclusa and Harvoni
BOXED WARNING: RISK OF HEPATITIS B VIRUS REACTIVATION IN HCV/HBV COINFECTED PATIENTS
Test all patients for evidence of current or prior hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection before initiating treatment with EPCLUSA or HARVONI. HBV reactivation has been reported in HCV/HBV coinfected patients who were undergoing or had completed treatment with HCV direct acting antivirals (DAAs) and were not receiving HBV antiviral therapy. Some cases have resulted in fulminant hepatitis, hepatic failure, and death. Cases have been reported in patients who are HBsAg positive, in patients with serologic evidence of resolved HBV, and also in patients receiving certain immunosuppressant or chemotherapeutic agents; the risk of HBV reactivation associated with treatment with HCV DAAs may be increased in patients taking these other agents. Monitor HCV/HBV coinfected patients for hepatitis flare or HBV reactivation during HCV treatment and post-treatment follow-up. Initiate appropriate patient management for HBV infection as clinically indicated.
Warnings and Precautions
Serious Symptomatic Bradycardia When Coadministered with Amiodarone: Amiodarone is not recommended for use with EPCLUSA or HARVONI due to the risk of symptomatic bradycardia, particularly in patients also taking beta blockers or with underlying cardiac comorbidities and/or with advanced liver disease. A fatal cardiac arrest was reported in a patient taking amiodarone who was coadministered a sofosbuvir containing regimen. In patients without alternative, viable treatment options, cardiac monitoring is recommended. Patients should seek immediate medical evaluation if they develop signs or symptoms of bradycardia.
Risk of Reduced Therapeutic Effect Due to Use with P-gp Inducers and/or Moderate to Potent Inducers of CYP: Rifampin, St. John’s wort and carbamazepine are not recommended for use with EPCLUSA or with HARVONI. P-gp inducers may significantly decrease ledipasvir, sofosbuvir and/or velpatasvir plasma concentrations. Moderate to potent inducers of CYP2B6, CYP2C8 or CYP3A4 may significantly decrease sofosbuvir and/or velpatasvir plasma concentrations.
Adverse Reactions
The most common adverse reactions (≥10%, all grades) with EPCLUSA were headache and fatigue.
The most common adverse reactions (≥10%, all grades) with HARVONI were fatigue, headache, and asthenia.
Drug Interactions
EPCLUSA: Coadministration is not recommended with topotecan due to increased concentrations of topotecan; or with proton-pump inhibitors, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifapentine, efavirenz, and tipranavir/ritonavir due to decreased concentrations of sofosbuvir and/or velpatasvir.
HARVONI: Coadministration is not recommended with oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifapentine, and tipranavir/ritonavir due to decreased concentrations of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir; or with co-formulated elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate due to increased concentrations of tenofovir; or with simeprevir due to increased concentrations of ledipasvir and simeprevir; or with rosuvastatin due to increased concentrations of rosuvastatin.
Consult the full Prescribing Information for EPCLUSA and HARVONI for more information on potentially significant drug interactions, including clinical comments.
US Important Safety Information About Vemlidy
BOXED WARNING: POST TREATMENT SEVERE ACUTE EXACERBATION OF HEPATITIS B
Discontinuation of anti-hepatitis B therapy, including VEMLIDY, may result in severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B. Hepatic function should be monitored closely with both clinical and laboratory follow-up for at least several months in patients who discontinue anti-hepatitis B therapy, including VEMLIDY. If appropriate, resumption of anti-hepatitis B therapy may be warranted.
Warnings and Precautions
Risk of Development of HIV-1 Resistance in HBV/HIV-1 Coinfected Patients: Due to this risk, VEMLIDY alone should not be used for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. Safety and efficacy of VEMLIDY have not been established in HBV/HIV-1 coinfected patients. HIV antibody testing should be offered to all HBV-infected patients before initiating therapy with VEMLIDY, and, if positive, an appropriate antiretroviral combination regimen that is recommended for HBV/HIV-1 coinfected patients should be used.
New Onset or Worsening Renal Impairment: Cases of acute renal failure and Fanconi syndrome have been reported with the use of tenofovir prodrugs. In clinical trials of VEMLIDY, there have been no cases of Fanconi syndrome or proximal renal tubulopathy (PRT). Patients with impaired renal function and/or taking nephrotoxic agents (including NSAIDs) are at increased risk of renal-related adverse reactions. Discontinue VEMLIDY in patients who develop clinically significant decreases in renal function or evidence of Fanconi syndrome. Monitor renal function in all patients – See Dosage and Administration.
Lactic Acidosis and Severe Hepatomegaly with Steatosis: Fatal cases have been reported with the use of nucleoside analogs, including tenofovir DF. Discontinue VEMLIDY if clinical or laboratory findings suggestive of lactic acidosis or pronounced hepatotoxicity develop, including hepatomegaly and steatosis in the absence of marked transaminase elevations.
Adverse Reactions
Most common adverse reactions (incidence ≥5%; all grades) were headache, abdominal pain, cough, back pain, fatigue, nausea, arthralgia, diarrhea, and dyspepsia.
Drug Interactions
Coadministration of VEMLIDY with drugs that reduce renal function or compete for active tubular secretion may increase concentrations of tenofovir and the risk of adverse reactions.
Coadministration of VEMLIDY is not recommended with the following: oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifampin, rifapentine, or St. John’s wort. Such coadministration is expected to decrease the concentration of tenofovir alafenamide, reducing the therapeutic effect of VEMLIDY. Drugs that strongly affect P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) activity may lead to changes in VEMLIDY absorption.
Consult the full prescribing information for VEMLIDY for more information on potentially significant drug interactions, including clinical comments.
Dosage and Administration
Dosage: Adults; 1 tablet taken once daily with food.
Renal Impairment, Screening, and Monitoring: VEMLIDY is not recommended in patients with CrCl <15 mL/min. In all patients, assess serum creatinine, estimated creatinine clearance, urine glucose, and urine protein prior to initiating and during treatment, on a clinically appropriate schedule. In patients with chronic kidney disease, also assess serum phosphorus.
Hepatic Impairment: Not recommended in patients with decompensated (Child-Pugh B or C) hepatic impairment.
Testing Prior to Initiation: HIV infection.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Gilead Subsidiary to Launch Authorized Generics of Epclusa® (Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir) and Harvoni® (Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir) for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C

Of Interest
October 29, 2018
Gilead $1,100 a day drug. Now it will launch a generic at quarter the price
Sep 27, 2018
An ‘unusual decision’: Gilead to launch hep C generics ten years early

Sept 26 2018
The U.S. drug pricing system is a mess. It's an absolute disaster. Just about every entity involved, from drug companies to consumers to insurers to the government, agrees that offering discounts off the list price is a convoluted way to sell a life-saving product.

Maria Carolina Marcello, Gram Slattery
A Brazilian court has stripped the patent protection of a Gilead Sciences Inc big-selling hepatitis C treatment in Brazil, paving the way for cheaper generics, a presidential candidate who pushed for the move said on Monday....

Gilead Sciences to Sell Authorized Generics of Hepatitis C Drugs
Gilead Sciences will sell authorized generics of its blockbuster hepatitis C drugs Epclusa and Harvoni, Bloomberg reported. The brand-name versions sparked widespread debate about US pharmaceutical costs when they were introduced at a price of more than $1000 per pill. The less expensive versions will cost $24,000 for a course of treatment, which compares with a list price for Harvoni of $94,500. The company’s hepatitis C drugs remain among the best-selling pharmaceutical products in history, but they've also made Gilead the subject of congressional hearings and accusations of greed.

Gilead Press Release
United States
Gilead Subsidiary to Launch Authorized Generics of Epclusa® (Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir) and Harvoni® (Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir) for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C
-- List Price of Authorized Generics to Reflect Discounts in the System Today --

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 24, 2018-- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) announced today plans to launch authorized generic versions of Epclusa® (sofosbuvir 400mg/velpatasvir 100mg) and Harvoni® (ledipasvir 90mg/sofosbuvir 400mg), Gilead's leading treatments for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), in the United States, through a newly created subsidiary, Asegua Therapeutics LLC. The authorized generics will launch at a list price of $24,000 for the most common course of therapy and will be available in January 2019.

Since the launch of Gilead's first HCV medication in 2013, the average price paid for each bottle of medicine in the United States has decreased by more than 60 percent off of the public list prices, across health insurers and government payers. Due to the complexity and structure of the U.S. healthcare system, however, these discounts provided by Gilead may not always translate into lower costs for patients. Further, existing contracts, together with laws associated with government pricing policies, make it challenging to quickly lower a product's list price once it is on the market.

The authorized generics are priced to more closely reflect the discounts that health insurers and government payers receive today. Insurers will have the choice of offering either the authorized generics or the branded medications for both Epclusa and Harvoni. In the Medicare Part D setting, the authorized generics could save patients up to $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs per course of therapy. The authorized generics will also offer substantial savings to state managed Medicaid plans that do not currently benefit from negotiated rebates and that represent a significant number of people in need, potentially opening up access to our medications to beneficiaries who were previously denied coverage.

"Launching these authorized generics is the best solution available to us today to quickly introduce a lower-priced alternative to our HCV medications without significant disruption to the healthcare system and our business," said John F. Milligan, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences. "This launch also will hopefully help increase transparency by more closely aligning our medications' list prices with their cost. Our ultimate goal is to lower the list price of Epclusa - a medication we believe is of great importance given its clinical profile across genotypes - and Harvoni. We are committed to working with all of our partners in the healthcare system to help enable list price reductions of our HCV medications and find better solutions to reduce patients' out-of-pocket costs."

Beyond the company's efforts to reduce patient costs, Gilead is continuing to pursue innovative collaborations and long-term financing models, such as a potential subscription model, that could not only expand access, but aim to eliminate HCV in the United States and around the world.

About Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

Forward-Looking Statement
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks are described in detail in Gilead's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead, and Gilead assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Hepatitis C - Adverse events from DAAs can persist for months after treatment

Of Interest
March 14, 2018
March 24, 2018
May 30, 2018

Article
Adverse events from DAAs can persist for months after treatment, study finds
Liz Meszaros, MDLinx | August 21, 2018
Adverse events (AEs) related to treatment with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) may persist after treatment in a significant number of patients with chronic hepatitis C, according to results from a study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Clinicians and patients should be aware of this possibility.

Abstract: Outcome and adverse events in patients with chronic hepatitis C treated with direct-acting antivirals: a clinical randomized study

“This real-life study is to the best of our knowledge the first to examine the rate of AEs in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype (GT) 1 infection, randomized to one of two different DAA regimens in a real-world setting,” noted these authors, led by Christina Sølund, MD, PhD, Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Research Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark.

Recently, the development of DAA agents has revolutionized the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, which is estimated to affect more than 70 million people worldwide. Before the advent of DAAs, the standard of care for these patients consisted of treatment with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin (RBV), lasting for 24 to 48 weeks, which not only had significantly lower cure rates and tolerability, but also carried a high incidence of severe AEs.

Now in their second iteration, DAAs have changed the playing field in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C by directly targeting the proteins responsible for viral replication. Improved sustained virologic responses (SVR) of 90% or more and good tolerability and efficacy in patients who have historically been difficult to treat—such as those with liver cirrhosis, liver transplantation, or previous treatment failures—have characterized the second-generation DAAs.

Few studies, however, have compared different DAA regimens. For this reason, Dr. Sølund and colleagues conducted their investigation. They included 96 patients with chronic hepatitis C with either GT1 or GT3, who were randomized to two different treatment arms. The first was comprised of 72 patients infected with GT1, who were treated for 12 weeks with ledipasvir/sofosbuvir/RBV vs paritaprevir/ombitasvir/ritonavir/dasabuvir/RBV. The second group consisted of 24 patients infected with GT3, who were treated with daclatasvir/sofosbuvir/RBV for 12 weeks vs a 24-week course of sofosbuvir/RBV.

Unfortunately, due to a change in national treatment guidelines, the GT3 treatment arm was prematurely terminated. Therefore, efficacy data are available from both GT3 and GT1 patients, but the incidence of AEs is available only for GT1 patients.

Cure was achieved by 97% of GT1 patients and 83% of GT3 patients, with SVR at 12 months. Virologic failure occurred in only one G3 patient.

Adverse events occurred in 97% of GT1 patients with the most common being anemia, fatigue, and headache.

“We found no statistically significant difference in AEs, neither between treatment groups nor in relation to anemia or cirrhosis. The overall rate of AEs was comparable to other real-world studies, but the frequency of the most common AEs, such as anemia (78%), fatigue (74%), headache (74%), pruritus/eczema (46%), and heartburn/abdominal discomfort (38%), was higher in our study,” they added.

Only 3% of GT1 patients discontinued treatment due to AEs. Notably, 45% of patients with AEs thought to be related to a DAA regimen still manifested the AEs at 4 weeks after treatment. At 12 weeks this was still the case in 11% of patients.

“We consider this an important finding that can be used when informing the patient about AEs that might be caused by the DAA regimen, despite the number of patients included in our study being relatively small,” noted the authors. “The low discontinuation rate reflects that AEs possibly induced by DAA treatment are rarely treatment limiting, even when DAA treatment is given in combination with RBV,” they concluded.

This study received support from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen and from Hvidovre Hospital Research Foundation, the Department of Infectious Diseases, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, the Capital Region of Denmark’s Research Foundation, the Innovation Fund Denmark project 060-2009-3, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the Danish Research Council.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Challenges and perspectives of direct antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection

Journal of Hepatology
Challenges and perspectives of direct antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection
JohannesVermehren, James S. Park, Ira Jacobson, StefanZeuzem

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2018.07.002

Full-Text

Follow On Twitter 
The following full-text articles downloaded and shared by Henry E. Chang.

Abstract
Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been revolutionized with the development of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs). Eight to twelve weeks of all-oral, once-daily treatments is now the standard of care and viral eradication can be achieved in >95% across different patient populations. Despite these advances, several unresolved issues remain, including treatment of HCV genotype 3, chronic kidney disease, and in patients in whom DAA therapy has failed. Glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (GLE/PIB) and sofosbuvir/velpatasvir/voxilaprevir (SOF/VEL/VOX) are the most recently approved DAA regimens. Given the overwhelming success of modern DAA-based therapies, GLE/PIB and SOF/VEL/VOX are also likely to represent the last DAAs to be approved. Both are pangenotypic, once-daily, all-oral DAA combinations that have the potential to close the gaps in the current DAA treatment portfolio. Here, we review the challenges associated with current DAAs and how these two regimens may be implemented in existing treatment algorithms.

Of Special Interest
Commentary
Hepatitis C Management Simplification From Test to Cure:A Framework for Primary Care Providers
SOF/VEL or GLE/PIB), both highly tolerated and effective for all genotypes.

Sofosbuvir and Ledipasvir is Associated with High Sustained Virologic Response and Improvement of Health-Related Quality of Life in East Asian Patients with Hepatitis C Virus Infection
In summary, our data clearly show the superiority of IFN-free RBV-free LDV/SOF in East Asian patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection. The advantages of that regimen are related not only to its high efficacy and excellent tolerability but also to significantly better quality of life during treatment and after achieving SVR. These data provide evidences up porting the comprehensive benefit of LDV/SOF for eligible patients which should inform all stakeholders, including providers, payers, and policy makers in East Asian countries

Absolute denials of DAA regimens by insurers in the U.S. have remained high & increased over time, regardless of type of insurance.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Harvoni effective for HCV genotype 4, including cirrhotic cases

In The Journal
Original article Ledipasvir/sofosbuvir with or without ribavirin for 8 or 12 weeks for the treatment of HCV genotype 4 infection: results from a randomised phase III study in Egypt
gamal Shiha,1,2 gamal esmat,3 Mohamed Hassany,4 reham Soliman,2,5 Mohamed elbasiony,1,2 rabab Fouad,3 aisha elsharkawy,3 radi Hammad,4 Wael abdel-razek,6 talaat Zakareya,6 Kathryn Kersey,7 Benedetta Massetto,7 anu Osinusi,7 Sophia lu,7 Diana M Brainard,7 John g McHutchison,7 imam Waked,6 Wahid Doss4

Full Text
Download PDF

Significance of this study
What is already known about this subject?
► In Egypt, which has one of the highest prevalences of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the world (6.3%), >90% of patients are infected with HCV genotype 4.
► At the time of study design, sofosbuvir was the only direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drug available in Egypt. As such, the only DAA treatment options were sofosbuvir plus ribavirin plus pegylated interferon for 12 weeks, or sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for 24 weeks; there were no treatment options for patients who had failed direct-acting antiviral agent therapy.
► We sought to find the optimal regimen for ledipasvir–sofosbuvir in Egypt. Shorter treatment durations and/or the removal of ribavirin and pegylated interferon and their associated toxicities would be of benefit to patients. What are the new findings?
► Treatment-naive patients without cirrhosis were effectively and safely treated with the fixeddose combination of ledipasvir/sofosbuvir for 8 weeks.
► Rates of sustained virological response 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12) of ≥94% were observed with 12 weeks of ledipasvir/ sofosbuvir±ribavirin treatment in interferonexperienced patients with or without cirrhosis. All sofosbuvir or ledipasvir–sofosbuvirexperienced patients in this study achieved SVR12 with 12 weeks of ledipasvir–sofosbuvir plus ribavirin for 12 weeks.
► Overall, the addition of ribavirin did not appear to increase rates of SVR observed with ledipasvir–sofosbuvir, but it was associated with an increase in the incidence of adverse  events.
Continue to article: http://gut.bmj.com/content/gutjnl/early/2018/04/21/gutjnl-2017-315906.full.pdf

Commentary @ Healio
Harvoni effective for HCV genotype 4, including cirrhotic cases
April 27, 2018 
Patients with hepatitis C genotype 4 had high sustained virologic response rates with Harvoni over 8 weeks in treatment-naive cases without cirrhosis and over 12 weeks with ribavirin regardless of cirrhosis or treatment experience, according to recently published data from a phase 3 study in Egypt.

“Given the high prevalence of HCV in Egypt and the heterogeneity of the HCV-infected population with respect to age, comorbidities and prior HCV therapy, there is a need in Egypt for a highly efficacious, well-tolerated, single-tablet regimen with simple monitoring,” Gamal Shiha, MD, PhD, from the Liver Research Institute and Hospital in Egypt, and colleagues wrote. “With the widespread use of sofosbuvir, an efficacious treatment for those who have failed treatment with a sofosbuvir-based regimen would also be highly desirable.”

Full Article: https://www.healio.com/hepatology/hepatitis-c/news/online/%7B30747e3b-aaf2-4095-ab47-fb6278189b95%7D/harvoni-effective-for-hcv-genotype-4-including-cirrhotic-cases

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A pilot single arm observational study of sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (200 + 45 mg) in 6‐ to 12‐ year old children

A pilot single arm observational study of sofosbuvir/ledipasvir (200 + 45 mg) in 6‐ to 12‐ year old children
M. H. F. El‐Shabrawi N. M. Kamal H. R. El‐Khayat E. M. Kamal M. M. A. H. AbdElgawad M. Yakoot

First published: 25 April 2018 https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.14677

Full-Text
View Online

Summary
Background
No available data on the use of sofosbuvir/ledipasvir combination in treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in children 6‐ to 12‐ year old.

Aim
To assess the safety and efficacy of sofosbuvir plus ledipasvir in children 6‐ to 12‐ year old with chronic HCV genotype 4 infection.

Methods
This is a pilot prospective single arm observational open‐label multicentre study. A total of 20 consecutive eligible chronic HCV infected children, aged from 6‐ to 12‐ years were included in this study and treated with a fixed sofosbuvir/ledipasvir combination in half the adult dose (200/45 mg) once daily for 12 weeks. Laboratory tests including virological markers were measured at baseline, 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks (end of treatment [EOT]), and 12 weeks after end of treatment for sustained virological response 12 (SVR12).

Results
The intention‐to‐treat (ITT) SVR12 rate was 19/20 (95%; 95% CI: 76.4%‐99.1%). SVR12 was not assessed in one patient who was lost to follow‐up after showing viral negativity at the EOT12. All the remaining 19 patients (100%, 95% CI: 83.18%‐100%) who completed the full protocol and follow‐up visits achieved SVR12 with normal liver, haematological, and renal function tests and no side effects or fatalities.

Conclusions
This pilot study demonstrated that the fixed dose sofosbuvir/ledipasvir combination could be safe and effective treatment in children 6‐ to 12‐ years with chronic hepatitis C genotype 4 infection. Our pilot results might encourage larger and multicentre studies in this age group.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Liver Congress 2018 - ‘what you need to know in 5-minutes’ video clips each day from the conference

 ‘what you need to know in 5-minutes’

Hi folks, if you need help navigating the International Liver Congress, begin here: For Patients: The International Liver Congress 2018 . This page is a collection of links with conference updates and a list of websites you may be interested in visiting. As once a patient myself, exploring Practice Point was an easy way to review key data presented at the meeting.  Each day of the conference Practice Point uploads 5-minute video clips summarizing that day's hepatitis C presentations. However, you need to register, its free, check out the process below with highlights of today's clip. 

Link: Practice Point
Independent Conference Coverage from the 53rd Annual Congress of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL)*
In this video series, Dr. Brown will present ‘what you need to know in 5‐minutes’ regarding today's presentations from The International Liver Congress EASL 2018 in Paris, France. These educational Clinical Clips will spotlight the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of hepatitis C through a series of daily, ‘what you need to know in 5-minutes’ videos each day from the conference. 

Clinical Clips Day One - April 12, 2018
Highlights: Harvoni® (Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir) 8wks treatment vs 12wks in black treatment-naïve genotype 1 patients.

HCV genotype 3 using 8wks of Epclusa® (Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir) for patients on Opioid Substitution therapy.

Epclusa® (Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir) plus ribavirin for HCV genotype 3 patients with cirrhosis, and finally HCV treatment for patients with decompensated cirrhosis.
Start here.....

Check Practice Point each day of the conference, April-12 - April 15.

For patients, navigating registration
Link - Click here to register
The good news, only areas marked with * are required. The process is self-explanatory, it goes like this.

Email *
Confirm Email *
Password * Confirm Password *
First Name *
Last Name *
Degree * If you do not have a medical degree type in "Other" when the next box appears, type in "Patient"
Select the category that best represents your specialty * Pick one, anyone.
Areas of Interest (Check all that apply) * Pick one, anyone.

Good luck

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sweden-Introduction of second-generation direct-acting antivirals in HCV:Register-based Study

Introduction of the second-generation direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in chronic hepatitis C: a register-based study in Sweden
P. Frisk, K. Aggefors T. Cars N. Feltelius S. A. LoovB. Wettermark O. Weiland

First Online: 09 April 2018

The conditions for introducing the first six of the second-generation direct-acting antivirals for chronic hepatitis C infection in Sweden were outlined in a national introduction protocol. The overall cure rate was estimated to 96%, with some variation between genotypes. Despite regional variation in other cost containment strategies, the high level of adherence to recommendations among prescribers and similar introduction rates in the regions indicate that the protocol contributed considerably to a rapid uptake and equal distribution of DAAs in Sweden.

Full-Text

Abstract
Purpose Introduction of the direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection has been challenging in all health systems. In Sweden, a national protocol for managed introduction was developed. It was optional, but all county councils agreed to implement and follow it. The purpose of this study was to study (a) cure rates among all patients initiated on treatment in 2014–2015, (b) prescribers’ adherence to the drug recommendations and treatment eligibility criteria in the protocol, and (c) introduction rate in the six Swedish healthcare regions.

Method
A cross-sectional study where national data from the Prescribed Drug Register and the quality register InfCare Hepatitis defined the study population, and clinical data from the Patient Register and InfCare Hepatitis were used to monitor outcomes. Descriptive statistics were used.

Results
A total of 3447 patients were initiated on treatment during 2014–2015. The overall cure rate, based on data from 85% of the cohort, was 96%, with variation between genotypes. Adherence to drug recommendations increased over time and varied between 43.2 and 94.2%. Adherence to the treatment eligibility criteria was initially 80% and increased to 87% when treatment restrictions were widened. The introduction rate differed initially between the regions and reached stable levels 15–18 months after the launch of the first DAA.

Conclusion
The estimated overall cure rate was 96%, with some variations between genotypes. A high level of adherence to the introduction protocol as well as similar introduction rates in the health care regions indicate that the introduction protocol, alongside with other measures taken, contributed considerably to a rapid uptake and equal distribution of DAAs in Sweden.

Continuer reading online: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00228-018-2456-y