Boceprevir Trial Delivers Hopeful News for Hepatitis C
Schering says data on hepatitis C drug promising
NEW YORK, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Schering-Plough Corp (SGP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday reported promising early results from a mid-stage study involving its experimental hepatitis C drug, boceprevir.
The company said the favorable results were seen in a Phase II trial of patients who had never previously been treated for their infections with the liver-damaging hepatitis C virus.
One group of patients received boceprevir along with Schering-Plough’s widely used current dual therapy — the injectable interferon drug Peg-Intron and anti-viral pill ribavirin — while another group received only Peg-Intron and ribavirin.
After 12 weeks of treatment, up to 79 percent of patients in the boceprevir group had undetectable levels of the virus in their bloodstreams, compared with 34 percent of those taking only Peg-Intron and ribavirin.
The company noted that the results, although encouraging, were only preliminary. (Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf and Ransdell Pierson, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)