Dynamic hepatitis C virus genotypic and phenotypic changes in patients treated with the protease inhibitor telaprevir
ABSTRACT Telaprevir (VX-950), a hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3.4A protease inhibitor, has shown strong antiviral activity in phase 1 clinical studies. Because of high levels of HCV replication and the low fidelity of HCV polymerase, selection of resistant isolates during therapy may occur.
A highly sensitive sequencing method was developed in which approximately 80 clones/sample were analyzed to identify mutations in the NS3 protease catalytic domain in HCV genotype-1-infected patients dosed with 450 mg every 8 hours, 750 mg every 8 hours, or 1250 mg every 12 hours of telaprevir for 14 days.
Mutations that confer low-level resistance (V36A/M, T54A, R155K/T, and A156S) and high-level resistance (A156V/T, 36+155, 36+156) to telaprevir were detected and correlated with telaprevir exposure and virologic response. Changes in the frequency of mutations after the end of dosing showed an inverse relationship between in vivo viral fitness and resistance. In the absence of telaprevir selective pressure the majority of resistant variants were replaced by wild-type virus within 3-7 months.
Resistant HCV isolates are selected rapidly during therapy with the highly active protease inhibitor telaprevir. Combination therapy with pegylated interferon-alfa or other direct antiviral drugs seem mandatory to avoid developing resistance.
SourceAvailable from: Alexandra Alexopoulou[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The development of protease inhibitors (PIs) such as telaprevir and boceprevir constitutes a milestone in chronic hepatitis C antiviral treatment since it has achieved sustained virological response (SVR) rates of up to 75% in naïve and 29-88% in treatment-experienced patients with genotype 1 infection. Both require combination treatment with pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) as PI monotherapy results in resistant mutations. New direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) have recently been approved or their approval is imminent. Simeprevir administered orally as one pill per day in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV will be the next PI to be approved. The SVR rates at about 72-80% for treatment-naïve patients are not a major improvement over telaprevir or boceprevir. However, this treble combination has fewer side effects and drug-drug interactions and most patients undergo shorter treatment duration (24 months) due to earlier treatment responses. Sofosbuvir is the first available once-daily NS5B polymerase inhibitor which has been approved in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV for just 12 weeks with 89% SVR in treatment-naïve patients with genotype 1 infection and 83-100% in treatment-experienced patients with genotypes 2/3. The current review focuses on the recent rapid and continuous developments in the management of chronic HCV infection with DAAs in combination with PEG-IFN/RBV.
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ABSTRACT: We analyzed the impact of pretreatment variants conferring boceprevir-resistance on sustained virologic response (SVR) rates achieved with boceprevir plus peginterferon-α/ribavirin (P/R) for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-genotype-1 infection. NS3-protease-polymorphisms emerging coincident with virologic failure on boceprevir/P/R regimens were identified as resistance-associated variants (RAVs). Baseline samples pooled from 6 phase II or phase III clinical trials were analyzed for RAVs by population sequencing. Interferon (IFN)-responsiveness was predefined as >1 log reduction in HCV-RNA level during the initial 4-week lead-in treatment with P/R before boceprevir was added. The effective boceprevir-concentration inhibiting RAV growth by 50% (EC50) was determined using a replicon assay relative to the wild-type referent. Sequencing was performed in 2241 of 2353 patients (95.2%) treated with boceprevir. At baseline, RAVs were detected in 178 patients (7.9%), including 153 of 1498 genotype-1a infections (10.2%) and 25 of 742 genotype-1b infections (3.4%) (relative risk, 3.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], [2.01, 4.58]). For IFN-responders, SVR24 (SVR assessed 24 weeks after discontinuation of all study medications) rates were 78% and 76% with or without RAVs detected at baseline, respectively. For the 510 poor IFN-responders, SVR24 rates were 8 of 36 subjects (22.2% [11.7%, 38.1%]) when baseline RAVs were detected vs 174 of 474 subjects (36.7% [32.5%, 41.1%]) when baseline RAVs were not detected (relative likelihood of SVR24 [95% CI], 0.61 [0.32, 1.05]). Sustained virologic response was achieved in 7 of 8 (87.5%) IFN-nonresponders with baseline variants exhibiting ≤2-fold increased EC50 for boceprevir in a replicon assay, whereas only 1 of 15 (7%) IFN-nonresponders with baseline RAVs associated with ≥3-fold increased EC50 achieved SVR. Baseline protease-variants appear to negatively impact SVR rates for boceprevir/P/R regimens only when associated with decreased boceprevir susceptibility in vitro after a poor IFN-response during the lead-in period.
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ABSTRACT: The development of boceprevir and telaprevir was a major step forward in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. In addition, the treatment of these infections has been recently revolutionized by the approval of sofosbuvir and simeprevir. However, there are several challenges associated with the application of novel drugs, such as new and more frequent adverse events, new drug interactions, and excessively high treatment costs. An additional concern is viral resistance. These considerations highlight the fact that direct-acting antiviral agents are not a panacea and may not be the best option for all patients who are in need of therapy. This retrospective study revealed that the sustained virologic response was not significantly reduced following peginterferon and ribavirin retreatment compared with the new therapy. We suggest that patients who experience relapse shortly after completing treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin have a reasonable chance of achieving a sustained virologic response when retreated with these drugs alone.