Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq:GILD) today announced topline results from the Phase 3 POSITRON study examining a 12-week course of once-daily sofosbuvir plus ribavirin (RBV) in patients with genotype 2 or 3 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who are not candidates to take interferon (IFN). The study found that 78 percent of patients (n=161/207) remained HCV RNA undetectable 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12). The safety profile of sofosbuvir was similar to that observed in previous studies, and there were few treatment discontinuations due to adverse events. POSITRON is the first of three Phase 3 studies to be completed that are evaluating sofosbuvir therapy in HCV genotype 2 or 3 infected patient populations. “Achieving a sustained virologic response in three quarters of patients is an impressive result for a sofosbuvir-based, all-oral treatment in a group of individuals for which no suitable alternative therapy exists. These patients by definition had previously declined interferon-based therapy, were ineligible to receive interferon, or were interferon intolerant,” said Norbert Bischofberger, PhD, Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer, Gilead Sciences. “We look forward to sharing data from additional Phase 3 studies in early 2013, and expect to submit our first regulatory filings for sofosbuvir by mid-2013.” In POSITRON, HCV genotype 2 or 3 patients who were interferon intolerant, interferon ineligible or unwilling to take interferon were randomized (3:1) to receive 12 weeks of either sofosbuvir 400 mg once daily plus weight-based RBV twice daily (n=207) or matching placebo (n=71). Of the 207 patients randomized to the sofosbuvir/RBV arm, 15 percent had compensated cirrhosis (more advanced liver disease) and 53 percent were infected with genotype 2. SVR12 rates were 93 percent in genotype 2 and 61 percent in genotype 3. In the small percentage of patients with cirrhosis at baseline who received sofosbuvir/RBV, 61 percent achieved SVR12. All patients receiving sofosbuvir/RBV became HCV RNA negative on treatment and relapse accounted for all virologic failures. No patient in the placebo group achieved an SVR12. The most common adverse events reported in greater than 10 percent of patients in the study were fatigue, nausea, headache, insomnia, pruritis and anemia.