Incivo approved for twice-daily HCV treatment

Incivo Incivo (telaprevir) has received European Commission approval for twice-daily dosing as part of a combination treatment for hepatitis C.

The new dosing regimen replaces dosing every 8 hours, thereby simplifying treatment and improving patient adherence.

The Janssen drug is one of a new class of HCV drugs, direct-acting antivirals (DAA), which have nearly doubled the success of HCV treatments.

HCV infection is a major global epidemic, affecting 150 million people and causing 1% of deaths worldwide.

Incivo has been approved by the EC for twice-daily dosing in combination with pegylated interferon and ribavirin (PR) in patients with genotype-1 chronic HCV infection. This aligns a morning and evening dose of Incivo to the existing twice-daily dosing schedule for PR.

Dr Kosh Agarwal, lead study investigator and Consultant Hepatologist at Kings College Hospital, London, said: “A twice-daily telaprevir dosing regimen gives people living with genotype-1 HCV an equally effective chance of achieving an SVR [sustained virologic response] as the current dosing schedule. By making the treatment regimen simpler for patients it may help their adherence rates, without compromising on efficacy and overall viral clearance.”

According to Professor Graham Foster, Consultant Hepatologist at Barts Health London, the availability of DAA has increased the proportion of genotype-1 HCV patients able to achieve SVR from 40–50% to nearly 80% – achieving “a massive reduction in the complications of HCV, such as liver cancer and cirrhosis”.

“This medicine is the cornerstone of our efforts to improve the lives of more people living with HCV and supporting healthcare professionals around the world,” commented Gaston Picchio, Hepatitis Disease Area Leader at Janssen.