Efficacy and safety of danoprevir-ritonavir plus peginterferon alfa-2a-ribavirin in hepatitis C virus genotype 1 prior null responders

Edward J Gane, Régine Rouzier, Alicja Wiercinska-Drapalo, Dominique G Larrey, Peter N Morcos, Barbara J Brennan, Sophie Le Pogam, Isabel Nájera, Rosemary Petric, Jonathan Q Tran, Rohit Kulkarni, Ying Zhang, Patrick Smith, Ellen S Yetzer, Nancy S Shulman
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2014, 58 (2): 1136-45
Danoprevir (DNV) is a hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor that achieves high sustained virologic response (SVR) rates in combination with peginterferon alfa-2a-ribavirin in treatment-naive HCV genotype 1 (G1)-infected patients. This study explored the efficacy and safety of ritonavir-boosted DNV (DNVr) plus peginterferon alfa-2a-ribavirin in G1-infected prior peginterferon-ribavirin null responders. Null responders (<2-log10 reduction in HCV RNA level at week 12) were given an open-label combination of 100 mg of ritonavir and 100 mg of DNV (100/100 mg DNVr) every 12 h (q12h) plus peginterferon alfa-2a-ribavirin for 12 weeks. All patients achieving an early virologic response (EVR; ≥2-log10 decrease in HCV RNA by week 12) continued treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a-ribavirin; those without an EVR discontinued all study drugs. Twenty-four prior null responders were enrolled; 16 patients (67%) were infected with HCV G1b, and 8 (33%) were infected with G1a. Ninety-six percent of patients had an IL28B non-CC genotype. A sustained virologic response at 24 weeks posttreatment (SVR24) was achieved in 67% of patients, with a higher rate in G1b-infected (88%) than G1a-infected (25%) patients. Resistance-related breakthrough occurred in 4/8 G1a and 1/16 G1b patients through the DNV resistance-associated variant (RAV) NS3 R155K. NS3 R155K was also detected in 2/2 G1a patients who relapsed. Treatment was well tolerated. Two patients withdrew prematurely from study medications due to adverse events. Two serious adverse events were reported; both occurred after completion of DNVr therapy and were considered unrelated to treatment. No grade 3 or 4 alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevations were observed. DNVr plus peginterferon alfa-2a-ribavirin demonstrated high SVR24 rates in HCV G1b-infected prior null responders and was well tolerated. (This study has been registered at under registration no. NCT01185860.).

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