BOSTON, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) announced detailed results from its open-label Phase 2b study, PEARL-I, which demonstrated that 100 percent of genotype 4 (GT4) patients who were new to therapy (n=42/42) or who had failed previous treatment with pegylated interferon (pegIFN) and RBV (n=49/49) achieved sustained virologic response rates at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12) after taking AbbVie's investigational treatment with ribavirin (RBV). Additionally, 90.9 percent of patients who were new to therapy achieved SVR12 (n=40/44) after taking the treatment without RBV. These data will be presented today during a poster session at The Liver Meeting® 2014.
"As many as 34 million people around the world are living with genotype 4 chronic hepatitis C, a population that is common in the Middle East and Africa, where it accounts for more than 80 percent of all hepatitis C cases,[i]" said Barry Bernstein, M.D., vice president, infectious disease development, AbbVie. "The data from PEARL-I represent another important step forward in realizing our commitment to advancing scientific knowledge in hepatitis C with the ultimate goal of providing treatment options to as many patients as possible."
PEARL-I studied AbbVie's all-oral, interferon-free investigational treatment combining two direct-acting antivirals (ABT-450/ritonavir and ombitasvir) with and without RBV for 12 weeks in non-cirrhotic adult patients with chronic genotype 1b (GT1b) and GT4 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
There were no discontinuations due to adverse events in PEARL-I. The most commonly reported treatment-emergent adverse events (greater than 15 percent in any group) were headache (29-33 percent), asthenia (weakness) (24-33 percent), fatigue (7-18 percent), nausea (9-17 percent) and insomnia (5-16 percent). One patient had a grade 3 liver function test elevation (AST> five times the upper limit of normal), which was asymptomatic and resolved during continued dosing. Four patients with hemoglobin decreases (anemia) required RBV dose reductions; however, none of these patients required blood transfusions or medication to boost their red blood cell production. In the treatment-naïve group without RBV, on-treatment virologic breakthrough was reported in one patient (2 percent) and two patients (5 percent) experienced post-treatment relapse. There were no virologic failures in the other treatment arms.
About AbbVie's Investigational Two Direct-Acting Antiviral HCV Treatment
AbbVie's proposed all-oral antiviral treatment consists of the fixed-dose combination of ABT-450/ritonavir (150/100mg) co-formulated with ombitasvir (25mg) dosed once daily, co-administered with weight-based ribavirin (1000mg or 1200mg in divided doses twice daily). The combination of two direct-acting antivirals, each with distinct mechanisms of action, targets and inhibits specific HCV proteins in the viral replication process.
About AbbVie's HCV Clinical Development Program
The AbbVie HCV clinical development program is intended to advance scientific knowledge and clinical care by investigating interferon-free, all-oral treatments with and without ribavirin with the goal of achieving high sustained virologic response rates in as many patients as possible. AbbVie's development programs combining two direct-acting antivirals are studying additional hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes.
ABT-450 was discovered during the ongoing collaboration between AbbVie and Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENTA) for HCV protease inhibitors and regimens that include protease inhibitors. ABT-450 is being developed by AbbVie for use in combination with AbbVie's other investigational medicines for the treatment of hepatitis C.
Safety Information for Ribavirin and Ritonavir
Ribavirin and ritonavir are not approved for the investigational use discussed above, and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding the safety or efficacy of these products for this use.
There are special safety considerations when prescribing these drugs in approved populations.
Ritonavir must not be used with certain medications due to significant drug-drug interactions and in patients with known hypersensitivity to ritonavir or any of its excipients.
Ribavirin monotherapy is not effective for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus and must not be used alone for this use. Ribavirin causes significant teratogenic effects and must not be used in women who are pregnant or breast-feeding and in men whose female partners are pregnant. Ribavirin must not be used in patients with a history of severe pre-existing cardiac disease, severe hepatic dysfunction or decompensated cirrhosis of the liver, autoimmune hepatitis, hemoglobinopathies, or in combination with peginterferon alfa-2a in HIV/HCV co-infected patients with cirrhosis and Child-Pugh score ?6.
See approved product labels for more information.
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs approximately 25,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," in AbbVie's 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K and in Item 1A, "Risk Factors" of Part II of AbbVie's second quarter 2014 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which have been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AbbVie undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.
[i] Khattab MA, et al. Management of hepatitis C virus genotype 4: Recommendations of an International Expert Panel. J Hepatol. 2011; 54: 1250–1262