You are here
News & Events
Vertex Completes New Drug Application for Telaprevir for Hepatitis C
- Submission based on results from Phase 3 studies that showed high SVR (viral cure) rates with telaprevir-based combination therapy compared to approved medicines -
- Six-Month Priority Review Requested -
"This submission is a milestone in our more than 15-year effort to change the way hepatitis C is treated," said
Highlights of the Telaprevir Phase 3 Data Included in the Submission
All Phase 3 studies met their primary endpoints and results below are from the treatment arms where telaprevir was started immediately in combination with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin for the first 12 weeks of treatment.
In people with hepatitis C who were new to treatment (treatment-naïve):
- Up to 75% achieved a viral cure with telaprevir-based combination therapy, compared to 44% of people who received pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone;
- A majority (58% in ADVANCE and 65% in ILLUMINATE) were eligible to reduce their treatment time by half — from 48 weeks to 24 weeks; and
- Data showed there was no benefit to extending total treatment from 24 weeks to 48 weeks in people whose virus was undetectable at weeks 4 and 12 with telaprevir-based therapy.
In the three major subgroups of people with hepatitis C who had not achieved a viral cure with a prior course of treatment (treatment-experienced):
- 83% of prior relapsers, 59% of prior partial responders and 29% of prior null responders achieved a viral cure with telaprevir-based combination therapy compared to 24%, 15%, and 5% of people in these subgroups, respectively, who received pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone. These results were achieved with a simultaneous start of all three drugs for the first 12 weeks followed by pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone for an additional 36 weeks.
The safety and tolerability results of telaprevir-based combination therapy were consistent across the Phase 3 studies. The most common adverse events regardless of treatment arm were rash, fatigue, pruritis, headache, nausea, anemia, insomnia, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms and pyrexia, with the majority being mild or moderate in severity.
More Effective Therapies Needed to Improve Viral Cure Rates
Hepatitis C is a serious disease, typically without symptoms, which affects up to 3.9 million people in
"In our trials, starting patients with 12 weeks of telaprevir-based combination therapy significantly improved viral cure rates compared to treatment with currently approved medicines, even in groups of people considered the most difficult to treat," said
Vertex is developing telaprevir in collaboration with
Vertex was granted Fast Track designation by the
Data from Phase 3 Studies in All Major Patient Types, Including the Most Difficult-to-Treat
The Phase 3 studies evaluated people with genotype 1 hepatitis C who were new to treatment as well as those who had previously received treatment but did not achieve a cure, including people who have traditionally responded poorly to approved medicines. In Phase 3 studies, telaprevir was given to people three times a day in combination with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin for the first 12 weeks of therapy followed by either 12 weeks or 36 weeks of Pegasys® (pegylated-interferon alfa-2a) and Copegus® (ribavirin) alone for a total treatment time of either 24 weeks or 48 weeks. The ability to shorten treatment time from 48 weeks to 24 weeks for people new to treatment was based on their response to therapy at weeks 4 and 12. People who did not achieve a viral cure with a prior course of therapy received a total of 48 weeks of treatment. In
ADVANCE: Pivotal study in 1,095 people who were new to treatment
The primary endpoint of ADVANCE was SVR, defined as the proportion of people who had undetectable viral load (HCV RNA) both at the end of treatment and 24 weeks after the end of treatment. The secondary endpoint was to evaluate the safety of telaprevir when dosed in combination with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin. ADVANCE also evaluated the ability to reduce total treatment time by half — from 48 weeks to 24 weeks, which was guided by a patient's response to therapy (undetectable viral load at weeks 4 and 12).
ILLUMINATE: Supplemental study in 540 people to evaluate shorter treatment durations in people who were new to treatment
The primary endpoint of the study was SVR in two telaprevir-based treatment arms of people whose virus was undetectable at week 4 and week 12 of treatment (eRVR, extended rapid viral response). These patients were randomized to either 24 weeks or 48 weeks of total therapy. ILLUMINATE was designed to evaluate whether there was any benefit to extending therapy from 24 weeks to 48 weeks in people who met these criteria. There was no control arm of pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone in the study.
In both the ADVANCE and ILLUMINATE studies, telaprevir-based combination therapy also resulted in improved SVR rates in various subgroups of people with characteristics known to limit response to approved medicines such as race/ethnicity or stage of liver fibrosis. Data from these studies were presented in
REALIZE: Pivotal study in 662 people who did not achieve a viral cure with previous therapy
The primary endpoint of the study was SVR in each of the two telaprevir treatment arms compared to the control arm, and for the three subgroups of people included in the study. REALIZE is the only Phase 3 study to date of a direct-acting antiviral medicine to include all three major subgroups of people with hepatitis C who did not achieve a viral cure with a previous course of therapy:
- Relapser: defined as a person whose hepatitis C virus was undetectable at the completion of at least 42 weeks of a prior course of therapy but whose virus became detectable during the follow-up period;
- Partial Responder: defined as a person who achieved at least a 2 log10 (100 times) reduction in viral load (HCV RNA) at week 12, but whose hepatitis C virus never became undetectable by week 24 of a prior course of therapy; and
- Null Responder: defined as a person who experienced a less than 2 log10 drop in viral load at week 12 of a prior course of therapy.
In REALIZE, people received 48 weeks of total therapy, which included 12 weeks of telaprevir combined with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin. One of the telaprevir treatment arms was designed to evaluate, for the first time, whether viral cure rates could be further improved by starting pegylated-interferon and ribavirin alone for the first four weeks of treatment (delayed start) compared to a simultaneous start of telaprevir in combination with these medicines. There was no clinical benefit observed with the telaprevir delayed-start treatment arm in any of the subgroups of patients compared to the simultaneous-start arm. Final results from REALIZE, including safety and efficacy data, will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.
Safety and Tolerability Information for ADVANCE, ILLUMINATE and REALIZE
The safety and tolerability results of telaprevir-based combination regimens were consistent across the Phase 3 studies. The most common adverse events (AEs) were rash, fatigue, pruritis, headache, nausea, anemia, insomnia, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms and pyrexia with the majority being mild or moderate in severity. Rash and anemia occurred more frequently in the telaprevir treatment arms compared to the control arms.
Rash was primarily characterized as eczema-like, manageable and resolved upon stopping telaprevir. More than 90% of rash was mild to moderate and was primarily managed with the use of topical corticosteroids and antihistamines. Anemia was primarily managed by reducing the dose of ribavirin. Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) were used in only 1% of people in the Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies. Discontinuation of all drugs due to either rash or anemia during the telaprevir/placebo treatment phase was 1% to 3% in the telaprevir treatment arms.
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus, which is spread through direct contact with the blood of infected people and ultimately affects the liver.2 Up to 3.9 million people in
Approximately 60 percent of genotype 1 patients who undergo an initial 48-week regimen with pegylated-interferon and ribavirin, the currently approved medicines, do not achieve SVR, 4,5,6 or viral cure.1 If treatment is not successful and a person does not achieve a viral cure, they remain at an increased risk for progressive liver disease.7,8,9,10,11 In
Additional resources for media are available at: http://investors.vrtx.com/press.cfm.
Vertex co-discovered the HIV protease inhibitor, Lexiva, with
Lexiva is a registered trademark of the
PEGASYS® and COPEGUS® are a registered trademarks of Hoffman-La Roche.
1Ghany MG, Strader DB, Thomas DL, Seeff, LB. Diagnosis, management and treatment of hepatitis C; An update. Hepatology. 2009;49 (4):1-40.
4 Manns MP, McHutchison JG, Gordon SC, et al. Peginterferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin compared with interferon alfa-2b plus ribavirin for initial treatment of chronic hepatitis C: a randomised trial. Lancet. 2001;358:958-965.
5 Fried MW, Shiffman ML, Reddy KR, et al. Peginterferon alfa-2a plus ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus infection. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:975-982.
6 McHutchison JG, Lawitz EJ, Shiffman ML, et al; IDEAL Study Team. Peginterferon alfa-2b or alfa-2a with ribavirin for treatment of hepatitis C infection. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:580-593.
7 Morgan TR, Ghany MG, Kim HY, Snow KK, Lindsay K, Lok AS. Outcome of sustained virological responders and non-responders in the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment Against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) trial. Hepatology. 2008;50(Suppl 4):357A (Abstract 115).
8 Davis GL, Alter MJ, El-Serag H, Poynard T, Jennings LW. Aging of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected persons in
9 Volk MI, Tocco R, Saini S, Lok, ASF. Public health impact of antiviral therapy for hepatitis C in
10 Veldt BJ, Heathcote J, Wedmeyer H. Sustained virologic response and clinical outcomes in patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced fibrosis. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2007; 147: 677-684.
11 Pyenson B, Fitch K, Iwasaki K. Consequences of hepatitis C virus (HCV): Costs of a baby boomer epidemic of liver disease. http://www.natap.org/2009/HCV/051809_01.htm. Updated
12 Picchio G, et al. Discrepancies between definitions of null response to treatment with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin: Implications for new HCV drug development. [poster 289]. In: Program and Abstracts of the 2010
Special Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding (i) the potential that the FDA's review time for the telaprevir NDA will be reduced from 10 months to six months; (ii) Vertex's commitment to working closely with the
News Provided by Acquire Media