As reported in Fierce Biotech, Vertex Pharmaceuticals reported yet another successful trial result with is potential blockbuster telaprevir for the treatment of hepatitis C. This time telaprevir was tested for its ability to treat hepatitis C infection in HIV patients. After 4 weeks of therapy, telaprevir was able to eliminate signs of the hepatitis C virus in 70% of HIV patients as compared to only 5% in the placebo arm. Wow - 70 to 5!
This treatment could potentially be applied to a large number of patients as about 30% of HIV patients also have hepatitis C infections. Vertex, still in Phase II, will push for a phase III trial with the FDA. A Vertex spokesman said "These interim results are encouraging because they showed a high proportion of people in the study had a rapid viral response to telaprevir." This may bode well as rapid response correlates well with the liklihood of acheiving a viral cure. Score another for Vertex.
Posted by Bruce Lehr March 3rd 2011.