Vertex announced they have submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) and request for Priority Review to the FDA for telaprevir for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV). This submission is supported by results from three Phase 3 studies, ADVANCE, ILLUMINATE and REALIZE, which evaluated telaprevir in people chronically infected with genotype 1 HCV who were new to treatment as well as those who were treated before but did not achieve a sustained viral response (SVR, or viral cure).  All Phase 3 studies met their primary endpoints and results below are from the treatment arms where telaprevir was started immediately in combination with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin for the first 12 weeks of treatment.

In people with hepatitis C who were treatment-naïve:

  • Up to 75% achieved a viral cure with telaprevir-based combination therapy, compared to 44% of people who received pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone;
  • A majority (58% in ADVANCE and 65% in ILLUMINATE) were eligible to reduce their treatment time by half – from 48 weeks to 24 weeks; and
  • Data showed there was no benefit to extending total treatment from 24 weeks to 48 weeks in people whose virus was undetectable at weeks 4 and 12 with telaprevir-based therapy.

In the three major subgroups of people with hepatitis C who had not achieved a viral cure with a prior course of treatment (treatment-experienced):

  • 83% of prior relapsers, 59% of prior partial responders and 29% of prior null responders achieved a viral cure with telaprevir-based combination therapy compared to 24%, 15%, and 5% of people in these subgroups, respectively, who received pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone. These results were achieved with a simultaneous start of all three drugs for the first 12 weeks followed by pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone for an additional 36 weeks.

Telaprevir is an investigational, oral inhibitor of HCV protease, an enzyme essential for viral replication.


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