FDA Panel Endorses Telaprevir for Hepatitis C

by Symptom Advice on May 14, 2011

Hepatitis C patients will likely have two new treatment options after an FDA advisory committee unanimously endorsed a second new HCV drug.

The FDA’s Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee voted 18-0 on Thursday that telaprevir, a protease inhibitor made by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, appears to be a safe and effective new option for hepatitis C, genotype 1 patients. on Wednesday, the panel voted unanimously to approve Merck’s protease inhibitor boceprevir for the same indication.Panelists were in unanimous agreement that adding a protease inhibitor to treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin will become the new standard of care for HCV genotype 1 patients.

If the FDA follows the advice of its advisory panel and approves telaprevir and boceprevir, the two agents would be the first HCV treatments to target the virus directly. The current standard HCV treatment regimen of pegylated interferon and ribavirin works instead to boost patients’ immune responses.

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