After Harvoni: A pangenotype hep C combo could be Gilead's next breakthrough
- In three phase 3 trials, Gilead's Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) combined with velpatasvir, an NS5A inhibitor, provided a durable cure in 98% of patients with hep C genotypes 1 to 6, 12 weeks after therapy (SVR rate).
- In a fourth study, patients with Child-Pugh class B cirrhosis who received the SOF/VEL combo plus ribavirin had a 94% SVR12, compared with 83% for patients with the same condition who were treated with standard of care for 12 weeks.
- The goal is to cure as many hep C patients as possible, including those with cirrhosis in addition to hepatitis C. This calls for a pangenotypic, cocktail therapy approach that Gilead is actively pursuing.
When it comes to virology in general, and hepatitis C in particular, Gilead continues to stay ahead of the curve by testing various cocktails that have proven both safe and effective in late-stage clinical trials of patients with different variants of hepatitis C. But it's the company's pangenotype therapy that is most exciting to the hepatitis C community at the moment, because it comes with the possibilty of a go-to therapy for a number of different types of hep C.
Gilead isn't the only company continuing to develop cocktail therapies for hep C. Johnson & Johnson is also is currently using Achillon's NS5A inhibitor, odalasvir, as part of a cocktail that it is developing.
The overall goal from a therapeutic perspective is for any patient with any type of hepatitis C genotype, including those with cirrhosis, to have a viable treatment option.