Research into combinations of investigatory Janssen drugs along with the company’s Olysio (simeprevir) most notably led to a perfect cure rate among people with genotype 1b of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a recent small trial. The HPC2001 study was a Phase IIa trial of 12 weeks of Olysio with one or two additional direct-acting antivirals among treatment-naive and prior relapser individuals with genotype 1 of the virus who did not have cirrhosis. Researchers presented findings from the study at the 24th Conference of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) in Istanbul, Turkey.

Three groups of seven to 12 participants took different doses of Olysio along with the non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor TMC647055, which was boosted with the HIV antiretroviral Norvir (ritonavir), with or without ribavirin. Up to 86 percent of these participants achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure) so long as they took ribavirin. A maximum of 50 percent of those who did not take ribavirin were cured.

A fourth group took Olysio, Norvir–boosted TMC647055, and either 30 or 60 milligrams of the NS5A replication complex inhibitor JNJ-56914845, with 22 people in each of the two arms. Eighty-two percent of the low-dose group was cured, compared with 95 percent of the high-dose group. All of those with genotype 1b were cured, no matter the dose of JNJ-56914845. A respective 71 percent and 93 percent of those with genotype 1a were cured by the low and the high dose.

The combination treatments were generally well tolerated.

To read a press release on the research, click here.