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Grazoprevir triple regimen demonstrates high cure rates, even for hard-to-treat people
Liz Highleyman, 2016-11-25 07:40:00
A new three-drug co-formulation containing Merck's
grazoprevir plus the investigational agents MK-3682 and ruzasvir was highly
effective for people with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1, 2 or 3, with
sustained response rates of 86 to 100% depending on treatment duration,
according to study results presented this month at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting in
Related studies showed that the combination is also
effective for retreating people who were not cured with a previous course of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs).
The advent of DAAs used in interferon-free regimens
has made treatment for chronic hepatitis C shorter, more convenient and much
more effective. However, there is still room for better regimens for
hard-to-treat people as well as pangenotypic combinations active against all
HCV genotypes; furthermore, additional options are expected to bring down the
cost of treatment due to increased competition.
Combining agents that attack
multiple steps of the viral lifecycle makes for more effective therapy and may
shorten treatment. Merck is evaluating a once-daily fixed-dose co-formulation
containing its approved HCV protease inhibitor grazoprevir (part of the Zepatier co-formulation with elbasvir),
the investigational nucleotide NS5B polymerase inhibitor MK-3682 and the
next-generation NS5A inhibitor ruzasvir (formerly MK-8408).
The phase 2 C-CREST trials
tested the co-formulation – dubbed 'MK3' – taken with or without ribavirin for
8, 12 or 16 weeks.