In this study, a multinational team (AIDS Pegasys Ribavirin International Co-infection Trial (APRICOT)) evaluated the efficacy and safety of pegylated interferon combination therapy in patients with HIV HCV coinfection
The team randomized 868 patients to receive either Pegasys 180µg once weekly plus Copegus 800 mg daily, Pegasys 180µg once weekly plus placebo, or conventional interferon alpha 2a 3MIU three times per week plus ribavirin 800mg daily.
Patients received treatment for 48 weeks.
|Genotype 1 patients achieved a 4-fold increase in sustained virological response.|
The team found that 40% of patients treated with Pegasys and Copegus achieved a sustained virological response (SVR). This compared to 20% of patients treated with Pegasys monotherapy and 12% of patients treated with conventional interferon/ribavirin.
In addition, genotype 1 patients treated with Pegasys and Copegus achieved a 4-fold increase in SVR compared to conventional interferon/ribavirin.
They also found that 62% of genotype 2/3 patients treated with Pegasys and Copegus combination therapy achieved a SVR, compared to 20% of patients receiving conventional therapy.
The team also determined that HCV can be treated effectively and safely in patients with HIV without compromising their anti-retroviral therapy.
Dr Douglas Dieterich of the Mt Sinai School of Medicine reported the team's results at the 11th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in San Francisco this week.
He stated, "The results from APRICOT have been eagerly anticipated by the medical community and I am personally delighted to see a sustained virological response or "cure" in hepatitis C being achieved by a remarkable number of people".
"Historically, response rates in co-infected patients have been about half of this".