Vaniprevir for HCV

Vaniprevir (MK-7009) is a hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS 3/4A protease inhibitor.  A phase II study has shown that vaniprevir can be an effective agent in combination with pegylated interferon alpha-2a (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) (Hepatology 2012; 56: 884-93).

This double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined 94 patients with treatment-naive genotype 1 HCV.  In combination with PEG-IFN/RBV, patients received either placebo, vaniprevir 300 mg BID, 600 mg BID, 600 mg QD or 800 mg QD for 28 days & then open-label PEG-IFN/RBV for 44 weeks.  There were 18-20 patients in each group.

With all of these vaniprevir doses, there was a rapid two-phase decline in viral load; the HCV RNA level was approximately 3log10 IU/mL lower in vaniprevir-treated patients than placebo.  Rapid viral response occurred in 68.8-83.3% of vaniprevir-treated patients compared to 5.6% of control patients.  Sustained virologic response was higher but did not reach statistical significance.

Resistance to vaneprevir with variants at R155 and D168 was detected in a small number of patients.  The authors note that treatment outcomes were not related to interleukin-28B genotype.

The potential advantage of vaneprevir over currently available triple therapy agents (eg. telaprevir and boceprevir) would be easier administration, QD or BID, and possibly more favorable side effect profile.

Take home message: more treatment options, including vaneprevir, for HCV are on the horizon.

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4 thoughts on “Vaniprevir for HCV

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