People with genotypes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) other than genotype 1 may have a better chance of a cure with Zepatier (grazoprevir/elbasvir) if they add ribavirin to the regimen, Infectious Disease Advisor reports.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis, researchers from the Phase II part-randomized open-label parallel group C-SCAPE study investigated 12 weeks of Zepatier treatment with or without ribavirin among individuals with genotype 2, 4, 5 or 6 of hep C.

The participants with genotype 2 received the grazoprevir component of Zepatier plus ribavirin with or without the elbasvir component. Those with genotype 4, 5 and 6 received Zepatier with or without ribavirin.

Among participants with genotype 2, 80 percent (24 of 30) of those who received the full contents of Zepatier plus ribavirin achieved a sustained virologic response 12 weeks after completing therapy (SVR12, considered a cure), as were 73 percent (19 of 26) of those receiving grazoprevir plus ribavirin.

As for those with genotype 4, the cure rates among those who received Zepatier with ribavirin was 100 percent (10 of 10) compared with 90 percent (9 of 10) among those who took only Zepatier.

Adding ribavirin to Zepatier apparently raised the cure rate among those with genotype 5, who had a cure rate of just 25 percent (1 of 4) if they did not take ribavirin and 100 percent (4 of 4) if they did. And among those with genotype 6, the cure rate was 75 percent both for those who did take ribavirin (3 of 4) and those who did not (3 of 4).

The different arms of the study had similar safety outcomes. Those who took ribavirin tended to experience more adverse health events.

“In conclusion,” the study authors wrote, “these data support the inclusion of participants with genotype 4 or 6 infection in the Zepatier Phase III studies. Zepatier with or without ribavirin was unsatisfactory for participants with genotype 2 or 5 infection.”

To read the Infectious Disease Advisor article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.