New drug cures Hepatitis C in HIV patients

Washington: In a ray of hope for patients infected with both HIV and Hepatitis C, researchers have found that a combination drug therapy cures chronic Hepatitis C in majority of such patients.

Hepatitis C is a leading cause of death among HIV co-infected patients.

"Because of poor tolerability to the previous standard of treatments for Hepatitis C, co-infection patients were considered difficult to treat," said Mark Sulkowski, medical director of the Johns Hopkins Infectious Disease Centre for Viral Hepatitis.

Now, the data from a Phase III clinical trial have been incorporated into the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of the new drug called sofosbuvir.

"The treatment with a new all-oral regimen - sofosbuvir and ribavirin - is now considered on-label," researchers reported.

For the trial, doctors administered sofosbuvir and ribavirin to a total of 223 HIV-1 patients chronically co-infected with Hepatitis C either for 12 weeks.

Twelve weeks after the treatment ended, researchers tested patients again for Hepatitis C infection to determine if the treatment was effective.

They found that 76 percent patients with genotype 1, 88 percent with genotype 2 and 67 percent with genotype 3 were cured.

"We have always termed this to be 'sustained virologic response but we now know that means hepatitis C has been cured," Sulkowski noted.

The trial study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link