Safety and Antiviral Activity of Albinterferon Alfa-2b Dosed Every Four Weeks in Genotype 2/3 Chronic Hepatitis C Patients
A phase 2, randomized, multicenter, open-label study evaluated the safety and efficacy of albinterferon alfa-2b in interferon-alpha treatment-naïve patients with genotype 2/3, chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
Forty-three patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive subcutaneous albinterferon alfa-2b 1500 microg every 4 weeks (q4wk) or every 2 weeks (q2wk) with oral ribavirin 800 mg/day for 24 weeks. Primary efficacy end point was sustained virologic response (undetectable hepatitis C virus RNA 24 weeks after completion of treatment). Insulin resistance was also assessed.
The safety of albinterferon alfa-2b was acceptable, with a similar adverse event profile in both treatment arms. Discontinuation as a result of adverse events occurred in 4.5% and 14.3% of patients in the q4wk and q2wk arms, respectively. No dose reductions caused by adverse events were reported in the q4wk arm versus 9.5% in the q2wk arm. Rapid viral response rates at week 4 were 68.2% and 76.2% for the q4wk and q2wk arms, respectively; the corresponding sustained virologic response rates were 77.3% and 61.9%. Insulin resistance at baseline was significantly associated with lower sustained virologic response rates independent of body mass index.
Albinterferon alfa-2b administered at 4-week intervals was safe and well-tolerated and demonstrated significant antiviral activity in patients with genotype 2/3, chronic hepatitis C virus. Insulin resistance appeared to have an independent effect on treatment response.
Available from: Richard A Lempicki
- "One recently developed formulation of IFN is albinterferon alfa-2b (albIFN), a novel, long-acting, genetic fusion polypeptide of recombinant human albumin and interferon alfa-2b [Subramanian et al., 2007]. 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]. "
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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.
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ABSTRACT: The need for effective treatment for chronic hepatitis C infection has driven the development of novel antiviral agents that target specific steps in the viral replication cycle.
To evaluate the current literature concerning investigational agents for chronic hepatitis C virus infection.
Resources used included PubMed, conference proceedings from the American and European Liver Associations' meetings 2005-2008 and the National Institute of Health's clinical trials website (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov). The focus was restricted to investigational agents that have progressed beyond preclinical development.
Over 50 investigational agents for chronic hepatitis C infection are currently in clinical development. Specifically targeted anti-viral therapy for HCV (STAT-C) shows great promise with NS3/4a protease inhibitors now entering phase 3 programmes. New interferon-alpha and ribavirin formulations aim to optimize anti-viral efficacy yet limit toxicity. Other candidates include novel immunomodulators and therapeutic vaccines.
A new era of therapy for chronic hepatitis C beckons, promising increased cure rates with shortened duration of therapy. However, the era will not be without challenges including viral resistance, drug toxicity and the need to optimize combination therapy in the face of a rapidly evolving therapeutic arsenal.
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