Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VRTX) reported strong results from the first of three key late-stage studies of hepatitis-C treatment, telaprevir, showing success in three-quarters of patients using the drug for 12 weeks.
This is very good news for both patients and physicians involved with chronic hepatitis C. Hepatitis C infects well over 4 million Americans. Complications of hepatitis C include cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer), and the potential need for a liver transplant. Currently available FDA approved therapies can attain a 45-55% sustained viral response to 48 weeks of combination therapy with Interferon and Ribavirin in genotype 1 individuals.
Research continues with many new agents targeting the hepatitis C virus. With FDA approval in the near future, the tools we will have to treat our patients will vastly change the practice of medicine for those with hepatitis C, achievingsignificantly greater viral clearance. Good time lie ahead.