Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced results from two Phase 2 studies evaluating an all-oral treatment regimen of the investigational once-daily nucleotide analogue sofosbuvir plus ribavirin (RBV) for both the prevention and treatment of recurrent chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among patients who undergo liver transplantation. The findings will be presented this week at the 64 th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (The Liver Meeting 2013) in Washington, D.C.
HCV infection is the most common cause of liver transplantation in the United States and Europe. Recurrence of HCV infection is universal among patients with active disease at the time of transplantation and up to 50 percent develop cirrhosis of the liver within five years. Suppression of HCV RNA prior to liver transplantation should reduce the risk of re-infection and its serious complications, but currently available treatment options are often ineffective and poorly tolerated. Similarly, in the post-transplant setting, treatment is generally poorly tolerated and complicated by strong drug interactions with immunosuppressive agents used to prevent the body’s rejection of the transplanted liver.
In a study conducted among pre-transplant HCV patients (Study 2025), up to 48 weeks of sofosbuvir/RBV therapy was administered. Among patients with undetectable HCV (<25 IU/mL) at the time of transplantation, 64 percent (n=25/39) achieved undetectable HCV RNA 12 weeks post-transplant (pTVR12). Patients who achieve pTVR12 are considered cured of HCV infection. In a second study conducted among post-transplant HCV patients (Study 0126), patients with established recurrent HCV infection following liver transplantation received 24 weeks of sofosbuvir/RBV therapy. Seventy-seven percent (n=27/35) of patients in this study have achieved a sustained virologic response four weeks post-treatment (SVR4).
“Recurrence of HCV following liver transplantation almost always occurs in clinical practice. These patients are at higher risk for disease progression, the development of cirrhosis, liver graft failure, re-transplantation and increased morbidity and mortality,” said Michael P. Curry, MD, Medical Director, Liver Transplantation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, and an investigator for the pre- and post-liver transplant trials. “In these studies, sofosbuvir clearly demonstrated the potential to improve patient outcomes by either preventing or effectively treating recurrent HCV infection following liver transplantation.”