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      Glecaprevir/pibrentasvir for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C: design, development, and place in therapy

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          Abstract

          Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy has changed the landscape of hepatitis C virus (HCV) management and has changed the focus to the possibility of HCV elimination in the near future. Glecaprevir, an NS3/4A protease inhibitor, and pibrentasvir, an HCV NS5A inhibitor, have addressed many of the existing shortcomings in the DAA therapy spectrum. This combination has proven to be a highly efficacious pan-genotypic DAA with a high barrier to resistance as a once-daily, all-oral medication. This review explores the design and development of glecaprevir and pibrentasvir, its place in current HCV management in the midst of a myriad of DAA therapy options, and also remaining challenges.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Boceprevir for untreated chronic HCV genotype 1 infection.

          Peginterferon-ribavirin therapy is the current standard of care for chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). The rate of sustained virologic response has been below 50% in cases of HCV genotype 1 infection. Boceprevir, a potent oral HCV-protease inhibitor, has been evaluated as an additional treatment in phase 1 and phase 2 studies. We conducted a double-blind study in which previously untreated adults with HCV genotype 1 infection were randomly assigned to one of three groups. In all three groups, peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin were administered for 4 weeks (the lead-in period). Subsequently, group 1 (the control group) received placebo plus peginterferon-ribavirin for 44 weeks; group 2 received boceprevir plus peginterferon-ribavirin for 24 weeks, and those with a detectable HCV RNA level between weeks 8 and 24 received placebo plus peginterferon-ribavirin for an additional 20 weeks; and group 3 received boceprevir plus peginterferon-ribavirin for 44 weeks. Nonblack patients and black patients were enrolled and analyzed separately. A total of 938 nonblack and 159 black patients were treated. In the nonblack cohort, a sustained virologic response was achieved in 125 of the 311 patients (40%) in group 1, in 211 of the 316 patients (67%) in group 2 (P<0.001), and in 213 of the 311 patients (68%) in group 3 (P<0.001). In the black cohort, a sustained virologic response was achieved in 12 of the 52 patients (23%) in group 1, in 22 of the 52 patients (42%) in group 2 (P=0.04), and in 29 of the 55 patients (53%) in group 3 (P=0.004). In group 2, a total of 44% of patients received peginterferon-ribavirin for 28 weeks. Anemia led to dose reductions in 13% of controls and 21% of boceprevir recipients, with discontinuations in 1% and 2%, respectively. The addition of boceprevir to standard therapy with peginterferon-ribavirin, as compared with standard therapy alone, significantly increased the rates of sustained virologic response in previously untreated adults with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection. The rates were similar with 24 weeks and 44 weeks of boceprevir. (Funded by Schering-Plough [now Merck]; SPRINT-2 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00705432.).
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            Telaprevir for previously untreated chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

            In phase 2 trials, telaprevir, a hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 protease inhibitor, in combination with peginterferon-ribavirin, as compared with peginterferon-ribavirin alone, has shown improved efficacy, with potential for shortening the duration of treatment in a majority of patients. In this international, phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we assigned 1088 patients with HCV genotype 1 infection who had not received previous treatment for the infection to one of three groups: a group receiving telaprevir combined with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin for 12 weeks (T12PR group), followed by peginterferon-ribavirin alone for 12 weeks if HCV RNA was undetectable at weeks 4 and 12 or for 36 weeks if HCV RNA was detectable at either time point; a group receiving telaprevir with peginterferon-ribavirin for 8 weeks and placebo with peginterferon-ribavirin for 4 weeks (T8PR group), followed by 12 or 36 weeks of peginterferon-ribavirin on the basis of the same HCV RNA criteria; or a group receiving placebo with peginterferon-ribavirin for 12 weeks, followed by 36 weeks of peginterferon-ribavirin (PR group). The primary end point was the proportion of patients who had undetectable plasma HCV RNA 24 weeks after the last planned dose of study treatment (sustained virologic response). Significantly more patients in the T12PR or T8PR group than in the PR group had a sustained virologic response (75% and 69%, respectively, vs. 44%; P<0.001 for the comparison of the T12PR or T8PR group with the PR group). A total of 58% of the patients treated with telaprevir were eligible to receive 24 weeks of total treatment. Anemia, gastrointestinal side effects, and skin rashes occurred at a higher incidence among patients receiving telaprevir than among those receiving peginterferon-ribavirin alone. The overall rate of discontinuation of the treatment regimen owing to adverse events was 10% in the T12PR and T8PR groups and 7% in the PR group. Telaprevir with peginterferon-ribavirin, as compared with peginterferon-ribavirin alone, was associated with significantly improved rates of sustained virologic response in patients with HCV genotype 1 infection who had not received previous treatment, with only 24 weeks of therapy administered in the majority of patients. (Funded by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Tibotec; ADVANCE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00627926.).
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              A systematic review of hepatitis C virus epidemiology in Asia, Australia and Egypt.

              The hepatitis C pandemic has been systematically studied and characterized in North America and Europe, but this important public health problem has not received equivalent attention in other regions. The objective of this systematic review was to characterize hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology in selected countries of Asia, Australia and Egypt, i.e. in a geographical area inhabited by over 40% of the global population. Data references were identified through indexed journals and non-indexed sources. In this work, 7770 articles were reviewed and 690 were selected based on their relevance. We estimated that 49.3-64.0 million adults in Asia, Australia and Egypt are anti-HCV positive. China alone has more HCV infections than all of Europe or the Americas. While most countries had prevalence rates from 1 to 2% we documented several with relatively high prevalence rates, including Egypt (15%), Pakistan (4.7%) and Taiwan (4.4%). Nosocomial infection, blood transfusion (before screening) and injection drug use were identified as common risk factors in the region. Genotype 1 was common in Australia, China, Taiwan and other countries in North Asia, while genotype 6 was found in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. In India and Pakistan genotype 3 was predominant, while genotype 4 was found in Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria. We recommend implementation of surveillance systems to guide effective public health policy that may lead to the eventual curtailment of the spread of this pandemic infection. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                DDDT
                dddt
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove
                1177-8881
                29 July 2019
                2019
                : 13
                : 2565-2577
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Center for Liver Diseases, The University of Chicago Medicine , Chicago, IL, USA
                [2 ] Section of Hepatology, RUSH University Medical Center , Chicago, IL, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Donald M JensenSection of Hepatology, RUSH University Medical Center, 1725 West Harrison Street Suite 319 , Chicago, IL 60612, USATel +1 312 942 8910Email donald_m_jensen@ 123456rush.edu
                Article
                172512
                10.2147/DDDT.S172512
                6681154
                © 2019 Cotter and Jensen.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 3, References: 60, Pages: 13
                Categories
                Review

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