Twenty-four weeks of Gilead Sciences’ Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and ribavirin boasted high cure rates among people with genotype 4 of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in a recent trial, aidsmap reports. Results from the Phase IIb open label trial of 60 Americans born in Egypt, a bit less than half of whom were treatment naive, were presented at the 49th annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) in London.

Most of the treatment-naive participants were deemed interferon intolerant, while those who had previously failed therapy had either relapsed, not responded to therapy or stopped taking treatment because of side effects. Most of the participants had unfavorable IL28B non-CC gene variants, and almost 25 percent had compensated liver cirrhosis.

The study randomly assigned the participants to receive a daily dose of the polymerase inhibitor Sovaldi and ribavirin for either 12 or 24 weeks.

Sixty-eight percent of those who took 12 weeks of therapy achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure), compared with 93 percent of those receiving 24 weeks of therapy. The treatment-naive participants had respective SVR12 rates of 70 percent and 100 percent in the 12- and 24-week arms. Those who had previously failed therapy had respective cure rates of 59 percent and 87 percent.

The regimen proved generally safe and well tolerated. The most common adverse side effects were headache, insomnia and fatigue.

To read the aidsmap story, click here.