10. October 2011 12:29
Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ protease inhibitor (PI) Incivo (telaprevir), to treat adults with genotype-1 chronic hepatitis C, has been launched in the UK.
The direct acting antiviral (DAA) PI uses telaprevir, a new class of medicine which directly targets the hepatitis C virus, offering patients further help with clearing the virus in combination with the current standard treatment of peginterferon alfa and ribavirin.
Professor Graham Foster at Queen Mary's University Hospital of London, said: “For many adults with chronic genotype-1 hep C, treatment with a telaprevir based regimen could provide a shorter treatment duration with improved response rates compared to standard treatment.”
The marketing authorisation of the therapy was based on clinical research gathered from three Phase III clinical trials involving more than 2,290 hep C patients. Results showed that Incivo cured the virus in almost twice as many previously untreated patients and in almost four times as many who had previously relapsed following treatment.
Incivio was co-developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Tibotec, an affiliate of Janssen Pharmaceuticals and the company responsible for marketing telaprevir in Europe.
Approximately 216,000 to 466,000 people are infected with chronic hepatitis C in the UK, of which only 80,000 have been diagnosed. The standard treatment for hep C, peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, is successful in about 50% of patients with genotype 1, leaving the other 50% without a successful treatment outcome.
The European Commission approved use of Incivo for to treat genotype-1 chronic hepatitis C virus in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin in September 2011.