Merck’s Hep C Meds Work Well in Treatment-Experienced People

Twelve weeks of Merck’s grazoprevir and elbasvir, plus ribavirin, cured nearly all treatment-experienced people with genotype 1 of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a small trial, including those with cirrhosis. The Phase II C-SALVAGE trial included 79 people who had failed a previous regimen of interferon, ribavirin and either Olysio (simeprevir), Incivek (telaprevir) or Victrelis (boceprevir). Results were presented at the 50th International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria.

Findings from the study were also published in the “Articles in Press” section of the Journal of Hepatology.

Grazoprevir is an NS3/4A protease inhibitor, and elbasvir is an NS5A replication complex inhibitor.

Ninety-six percent (76 of 79) of the participants achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure). Ninety-four percent (32 of 34) of those with compensated cirrhosis were cured.

The most common side effects were fatigue (28 percent), headache (19 percent), asthenia (15 percent) and nausea (12 percent).

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