A regimen of standard oral drugs bookended by an injectable treatment has shown promise in curing hepatitis C virus (HCV) in just four weeks. Researchers are in the midst of a Phase II study of 79 treatment-naive people with genotype 1 or 4 of the virus who received injections with RG-101 along with four weeks of daily oral direct-acting antivirals.

Interim findings were presented at the 51st International Liver Congress in Barcelona.

RG-101 targets microRNA-122, which hep C needs in order to replicate.

Each participant was given an injection of 2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight of RG-101 and started on a four-week course of either Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir), Olysio (simeprevir) or Daklinza (daclatasvir). At the end of the four weeks, the participants received a second 2 mg/kg injection.

The interim analysis of participants who had received that sufficient follow-up showed that eight and 12 weeks after the start of the four-week treatment a respective 97.4 percent (37 of 38) and 100 percent (14 of 14) of them maintained an undetectable hep C viral load.

The treatment was generally well tolerated. The majority of side effects reported were mild. A total of 11.4 percent of the participants reported headache and fatigue.

To read a press release about the study, click here.