LabCorp announced the availability of an enhanced version of its HCV GenoSure NS3/4, a drug resistance test that screens for the Q80k polymorphism.

The Q80k polymorphism develops in certain strains of hepatitis C virus (HCV), which lowers its susceptibility against the newly approved drug Olysio (simeprevir; Janssen). 

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Olysio was recently approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) genotype 1 infection in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin in adults with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who are treatment-naïve or who have failed previous interferon therapy (pegylated or non-pegylated) with ribavirin. 

Clinical studies showed patients with HCV genotype 1 containing the Q80K polymorphism exhibited significantly lower response rates to treatment with Olysio. Therefore, it is recommended that patients be screened for the Q80K polymorphism prior to treatment due to the high occurrence of the Q80k polymorphism.

The HCV GenoSure NS3/4A test also provides drug resistance information for Victrelis (boceprevir; Merck) and Incivek (telaprevir; Vertex), two protease inhibitors indicted for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 infection.

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