BOSTON, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The first detailed results from AbbVie's (NYSE: ABBV) pivotal phase III study, PEARL-III, were presented today as part of the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) press conference and will also be presented as a late-breaker at the conference on March 4. PEARL-III evaluated the efficacy and safety of 12 weeks of treatment with AbbVie's investigational therapy with or without ribavirin (RBV) in non-cirrhotic, adult patients with chronic genotype 1b (GT1b) hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who were new to treatment. The PEARL-III study met its primary and secondary endpoints. In the 419-patient study, sustained virologic response rates 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR 12) of 99.5 and 99.0 percent were achieved with the AbbVie regimen with and without RBV, respectively. There were no study drug discontinuations due to adverse events. "Results from PEARL-III are encouraging, as they demonstrate AbbVie's regimen can achieve high rates of SVR, with and without ribavirin across several patient characteristics in those with genotype 1b chronic hepatitis C infection," said Peter Ferenci, M.D., professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical University of Vienna. PEARL-III enrolled patients across different demographics and characteristics. Response rates in patients with certain characteristics (male gender, Black race and IL28B non-CC genotypes) were examined, as these patient populations have historically been associated with having a decreased response to treatment. High response rates were observed across all patients in the study, including those with these characteristics. "We are excited about the strong PEARL-III results which demonstrate the AbbVie regimen achieved high SVR rates with no discontinuations due to adverse events in patients new to treatment with genotype 1b infection," said Scott Brun, M.D., vice president, pharmaceutical development, AbbVie. "Additionally, with these data, we continue to be on track to begin major regulatory submissions in the second quarter of 2014. AbbVie will continue to disclose additional detailed phase III study results at future scientific congresses and in publications." About Study M13-961 (PEARL-III)PEARL-III is a global, multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 12 weeks of treatment with AbbVie's regimen with and without RBV in non-cirrhotic, GT1b HCV-infected, treatment-naive adult patients. The study population consisted of 419 GT1b treatment-naive patients with no evidence of liver cirrhosis: 209 patients randomized to the regimen without RBV for 12 weeks, and 210 patients randomized to the regimen with RBV for 12 weeks. Following 12 weeks of treatment, 99.0 percent receiving the regimen without RBV (n=207/209) and 99.5 percent receiving the regimen with RBV (n=209/210) achieved SVR 12. Patients in the treatment arm without RBV received placebo in substitution for RBV. Patients with different demographics and characteristics were enrolled in the study, including gender, race (Black vs. non-Black), Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, age, geographic region, body mass index (BMI), liver fibrosis stage, IL28B genotype and viral load.