As part of its long-term commitment to hepatitis C therapy, Schering-Plough also is developing SCH 900518 ("518"), a next-generation HCV protease inhibitor. A Phase IIa study with 518, known as the NEXT-1 study, is currently ongoing. The company said that 518 has been shown to be 10 times more potent in-vitro than other protease inhibitors currently in Phase III development and has the potential for once daily dosing. 518 also has shown decreased emergence of resistance in vitro. Given its pharmacokinetic (PK) profile, the company anticipates that 518 may be active against some HCV strains that are resistant to other protease inhibitors. Phase I proof of concept studies with 518 in treatment-naive patients and those who failed prior treatment, both as monotherapy and in combination with peginterferon (without ribavirin), demonstrated enhanced antiviral activity, with up to 4 log10 and 5 log10 decreases in circulating HCV, respectively.
Full results of the boceprevir HCV SPRINT-1 study and early phase clinical results with SCH 900518 are being submitted for presentation at a future medical meeting.
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