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NEJM study points to new era in hepatitis C treatment
Date:6/5/2009

Drs. Gregory Everson of the University of Colorado Health Science Center; Stuart Gordon of Henry Ford Hospital; Mark Sulkowski of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Robert Kauffman, Lindsay McNair and John Alam of Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Drs. Jacobson, McHutchison and Muir have received consulting fees and/or grant support from Vertex, Roche (maker of peginterferon) and Schering-Plough (maker of ribavirin).

The study's results match those of a similar study conducted in Europe that was reported on in the same issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. An accompanying editorial recounts the history of hepatitis C treatments, beginning 25 years ago with the discovery of interferon. It comments on the two studies: "Telaprevir appears to be a material advance in the therapy of hepatitis C, beginning a new era of treatment -- an era of antiviral agents developed specifically to target this virus."

Two Phase III studies currently under way at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and centers worldwide will attempt to confirm the results, potentially leading to FDA approval of telaprevir. One study is looking at 12 weeks of telaprevir in combination with standard therapy (peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin) followed by either 12 or 36 weeks of standard therapy alone depending on patients' response to therapy. A second study is comparing 8-week and 12-week regimens of telaprevir in combination with standard therapies followed by at least 12 weeks of standard therapy, depending on patients' response to therapy, to a placebo group taking 48 weeks of standard therapy alone. Both studies are currently closed to recruitment.


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Contact: Linda Kamateh
lib9027@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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