Albinterferon Alfa-2b Was Not Inferior to Pegylated Interferon-α in a Randomized Trial of Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1

JW Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany.
Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 16.72). 10/2010; 139(4):1257-66. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2010.06.066
Source: PubMed


The current standard of care for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 is once-weekly pegylated interferon-α (Peg-IFNα) plus daily ribavirin for 48 weeks. We evaluated the efficacy/safety of albinterferon alfa-2b (albIFN), a novel, long-acting, genetic fusion polypeptide of albumin and IFNα-2b.
In the phase 3 ACHIEVE-1 trial, 1331 patients were assigned equally to 3 open-label, 48-week treatment groups: Peg-IFNα-2a 180 μg every week, or albIFN 900 or 1200 μg every 2 weeks administered subcutaneously, with weight-based oral ribavirin 1000-1200 mg/day. During the study, the data monitoring committee recommended dose modification for all patients receiving albIFN 1200 μg to 900 μg because of increased pulmonary adverse events (AEs) in the 1200-μg arms of both ACHIEVE studies. Main outcome measure was sustained virologic response (SVR; undetectable serum HCV RNA at week 72).
Intention-to-treat SVR rates were 51.0% (225/441), 48.2% (213/442), and 47.3% (208/440) with Peg-IFNα-2a, and albIFN 900 and 1200 μg, respectively. The primary objective of showing noninferiority of albIFN 900 μg (P < .001) and 1200 μg (P = .003) vs Peg-IFNα-2a for SVR was achieved. Multivariate modeling indicated consistency of treatment effect across subgroups. Serious/severe AE rates were 23.1%, 24.0%, 28.2%; treatment discontinuation rates because of AEs were 4.1%, 10.4%, 10.0%; discontinuation rates because of respiratory AEs were 0%, 0.9%, 1.6%; with Peg-IFNα-2a, and albIFN 900 and 1200 μg, respectively. Hematologic abnormality rates were comparable across the Peg-IFNα-2a and albIFN 900-μg groups.
albIFN 900 μg every 2 weeks showed comparable efficacy, with similar serious/severe AE rates, although with a higher discontinuation rate, vs Peg-IFNα-2a in patients with chronic HCV genotype 1.

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    • "This formulation extended the half-life of the recombinant polypeptide product to about 200 hr while maintaining biological activity over a 14-to 28-day interval [Subramanian et al., 2007; Bain et al., 2008]. In three separate randomized controlled trials in HCV monoinfected genotype 1 or genotype 2/3 infections, albIFN administered q2week or q4week demonstrated comparable efficacy to PegIFN [Nelson et al., 2010; Zeuzem et al., 2010]. Based on the knowledge that therapeutic responses to PegIFN formulations among patients coinfected with HIV and HCV are much lower than that observed in HCV monoinfected individuals , an evaluation of the effect of various IFN formulations in these difficult to treat patients was conducted. "
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of different formulations of interferon on therapeutic response in patients coinfected with HIV and HCV is unclear. In this study, the safety, tolerability, viral kinetics (VK) modeling and host responses among HIV/HCV coinfected patients treated with pegylated-IFN or albinterferon alfa-2b (AlbIFN) with weight-based ribavirin were compared. Three trials treated 57 HIV/HCV coinfected genotype-1 patients with PegIFN alfa-2b (1.5 µg/kg/week) (n = 30), PegIFN alfa-2a (180 µg/week) (n = 10), and AlbIFN (900 µg/q2week) (n = 17) in combination with weight-based ribavirin (RBV). HCV RNA, safety labs, and interferon stimulated gene expression (ISG) was evaluated. Adverse events were documented at all study visits. HCV viral kinetics using a full pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic model was also evaluated. Baseline patient characteristics were similar across the three studies. All three formulations exhibited comparable safety and tolerability profiles and efficacy. VK/PK/PD parameters for all three studies as measured by mean efficiency and rate of infected cell loss were similar between the three groups. Host responses (ISG expression and immune activation markers) were similar among the three groups. All three regimens induced significant ISG at week 4 (P < 0.05) and ISG expression strongly correlated with therapeutic response (r = 0.65; P < 0.01). In summary, a comprehensive analysis of responses to three different interferon formulations in HIV/HCV coinfected patients demonstrated similar effects. Notably, interferon-based therapy results in a blunted host response followed by modest antiviral effect in HIV/HCV coinfected patients. This suggests that future treatment options that do not rely on host immune responses such as direct antiviral agents would be particularly beneficial in these difficult to treat patients. J. Med. Virol. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of Medical Virology
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    • "All 18 trials assessing peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin among treatment-naïve patients provided data on SVR;1,3,10–23,26,27 eleven of these also provided data on the rate of relapse,1,3,12,15–20,22,23 and twelve provided data on treatment discontinuations.1,3,10,11,15,16,18–23 All 13 trials assessing peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin among treatment-naïve patients provided data on SVR;1,2,26,27,32–40 nine also provided data on the rate of relapse,1,2,33–37,39,40 and seven provided data on treatment discontinuations.1,33,34,36–38,40 "
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    ABSTRACT: With the development of new direct acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for hepatitis C, the backbone peginterferon alpha used may be of importance in maximizing treatment outcomes. To this end, the rates of sustained virologic response (SVR), relapse, and treatment discontinuation among hepatitis C genotype 1-infected patients given peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin or peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin were determined using a meta-analysis. Randomized trials examining peginterferon alpha-2a or peginterferon alpha-2b co-administered with ribavirin for 48 weeks were included. Data were extracted on SVR, relapse, and treatment discontinuations for treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients. Pooled proportions using fixed and random effects meta-analysis were calculated. Twenty-six trials provided data on patients treated with peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin, and 19 trials provided data on patients treated with peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin. Five trials were direct head-to-head evaluations. In the subset of trials that included head-to-head evaluations, no significant differences were observed between the two treatments for treatment-naïve (relative risk [RR]: 1.07, 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.97-1.18) and treatment-experienced patients (RR: 1.27, 95% CI: 0.58-2.77). Using only active trial arms, a larger proportion of the treatment- naïve patients who were provided peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin achieved a SVR (47%), which is greater than that of treatment-naïve patients who were provided peginterferon alpha- 2b plus ribavirin (40% SVR achievement); however, a larger proportion of treatment- experienced patients who were provided peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin achieved a SVR (16%) when compared with treatment-experienced patients given peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin (12% SVR achievement). A larger proportion of relapses occurred among both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients given peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin, when compared with treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients taking peginterferon alpha-2b plus ribavirin. The proportion of patients discontinuing treatment was greater among treatment-naïve patients taking peginterferon alpha-2a plus ribavirin, but smaller among treatment-experienced patients. There are small differences in treatment outcomes for different types of peginterferon- alpha. Patient status and complexity of administration may differentiate clinical outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology
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    • "Albinterferon alfa-2b (Joulferon) is a recombinant protein consisting of interferon alfa-2b fused to human albumin that can be administered every two or four weeks due to a longer half-life compared to the currently marketed pegylated interferons. However, albinterferon was neither better tolerated nor did it show superior efficacy in patients with HCV genotype 1 or 2/3 in two large phase 3 studies [92,93]. Owing to concerns expressed by the regulatory authorities regarding the drug's benefit/risk ratio, the approval process of albinterferon was recently suspended. "
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    ABSTRACT: With the current standard of care for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, a combination of pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin, sustained virologic response rates can be achieved in approximately 50% of patients only. Improved understanding of the viral life cycle has led to the identification of numerous potential targets for novel, direct-acting antiviral compounds. Inhibitors of the NS3/4A protease are currently the most advanced in clinical development. Recently completed phase 3 studies of the two protease inhibitors telaprevir and boceprevir, each given in combination with standard of care, yielded sustained virologic response rates in the range of 66-75% in treatment-naive patients and 59-66% in treatment-experienced patients with HCV genotype 1 infection. Studies of second-generation protease inhibitors, with the potential advantage of improved potency, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics profile, are already underway. Inhibitors of the HCV NS5A protein and NS5B polymerase are potentially active across different HCV genotypes and have shown promising antiviral efficacy in early clinical studies. Other emerging mechanisms include silymarin components and inhibitors of cell proteins required for HCV replication. While improved formulations of current HCV therapies are also being developed, future hopes lie on the combination of direct-acting antivirals with the eventual possibility of interferon-free treatment regimens.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2011 · European journal of medical research
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