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154668 tn?1290115995

INFORM-1 (R7227 and R7128) study



Ground-Breaking Combination of All-Oral Agents Demonstrates Potential as Hepatitis C Treatment Regimen

- Combination of R7227, protease inhibitor, and R7128, nucleoside polymerase inhibitor, shows significant potency in reducing viral load in patients with hepatitis C - NUTLEY, N.J., BRISBANE, Calif., and PRINCETON, N.J., April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall -- Roche, InterMune, Inc. (Nasdaq: ITMN) and Pharmasset (Nasdaq: VRUS) today announced the first results from their innovative, interferon-free regimen of direct acting antiviral (DAA) combination therapy for the treatment of patients chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV)(1). The study combined two oral DAAs, R7227 (also known as ITMN-191) and R7128, for the first time in patients. There were no serious adverse events reported during the 14 days of dosing, and the reductions in levels of HCV RNA were significant.
Results of the INFORM-1 study were presented today during the late-breaker session at the 44th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) in Copenhagen.
The trial, conducted in centers in New Zealand and Australia, is the first to investigate the combination of two oral antiviral medicines in the absence of interferon and ribavirin. The results demonstrated for the first time that the combination of an oral protease inhibitor and an oral nucleoside polymerase inhibitor resulted in significant HCV viral load reduction in patients with HCV. Roche is developing R7227, a protease inhibitor, with InterMune, and R7128, a nucleoside polymerase inhibitor, with Pharmasset.
Further studies will test the activity and safety of the combination of R7227 and R7128 with and without interferon and/or ribavirin. The current standard of care for HCV is a combination of pegylated interferon plus ribavirin, which delivers overall sustained virologic response rates (SVR) of 50-60 percent.
"These are exciting times in our fight against hepatitis C, and the investigation of the innovative oral treatment regimen in INFORM-1, if validated in further study, may radically change future treatment strategies in our patients with chronic HCV infection," said Edward Gane, M.D., Associate Professor, University of Auckland and Director, Auckland Clinical Studies Limited. "The initial results from this study of the R7227/R7128 combination raise hopes of the possibility for an interferon-free treatment regimen, as well as the potential for a shorter, more potent interferon-based regimen."
INFORM-1 Results in Brief
INFORM-1 is a randomized, double-blind, ascending dose Phase I trial which has enrolled a total of 57 patients.
Patients receiving the combination of R7227 and R7128 for 14 days -- without pegylated interferon or ribavirin -- experienced a median reduction in viral levels of -4.8 to -5.2 log(10) IU/mL in the highest doses tested. The addition of R7128 to R7227 resulted in sustained viral load reductions over the dosing period, with aproximately 63 percent of patients experiencing a decrease in viral levels below the quantification limit of the diagnostic assay (less than 40 IU/mL). Furthermore, 25 percent of patients in the highest dosage groups were below the limit of detection of the virus in their blood (less than 15 IU/mL) after 14 days.



- Combination of R7227, protease inhibitor, and R7128, nucleoside polymerase inhibitor, shows significant potency in reducing viral load in patients with hepatitis C - NUTLEY, N.J., BRISBANE, Calif., and PRINCETON, N.J., April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall -- In the early low-dose groups, after only three days of dosing, the mean reduction in viral load levels was 0.6 log(10) IU/mL greater with combination treatment (-2.9), compared to the performance of the individual compounds when administered as a single agent (-0.46 and -1.84 for R7128 and R7227, respectively). This suggests an additive effect for the combination.
No treatment-related serious adverse events (SAEs), no dose reductions and no discontinuations were reported in the study. Pharmacokinetic analysis confirmed that there were no drug-drug interactions between the compounds.

Next Steps in the Development Program
The companies are now exploring twice-daily dosing of R7227 and higher total daily doses (600 mg twice-daily and 900 mg twice-daily) than those explored in the first patient cohorts of INFORM-1. The companies also plan to explore the innovative DAA combination therapy in "treatment-experienced" patients with HCV, or those who did not achieve SVR with a previous interferon-based treatment.
Other Clinical Studies with R7227 and R7128
In addition to clinical studies of combination DAA regimens such as those studied in INFORM-1, R7227 and R7128 each are proceeding rapidly in development in combination with Roche's PEGASYS(R) (peginterferon alfa-2a) and COPEGUS(R) (ribavirin). A Phase IIb study with R7128 has now begun, while a Phase IIb study with R7227 is slated to begin in the summer.

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154668 tn?1290115995
The Foundation and Future of HCV Treatment
Combination therapy of pegylated interferon and ribavirin is the current standard of care for HCV. PEGASYS is the leading treatment for HCV, and also is the pegylated interferon therapy of choice for most HCV antiviral agents in development -- including those developed through collaborations with Roche, as well as those developed by other companies. The collaborations with InterMune and Pharmasset position Roche as a leader in developing innovative treatments for HCV.

Dial-In and Webcast Details
InterMune and Pharmasset will host a live webcast of a discussion of the INFORM-1 results from the EASL conference today, Saturday, April 25, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. CEST (1:00 p.m. EDT). Participating in the discussion will be Dr. Ed Gane, principal investigator in the INFORM-1 trial. Members of management from Roche, InterMune and Pharmasset will also be available to answer questions. A live webcast and slide presentation will be available through the Investor Relations pages of both InterMune and Pharmasset at www.intermune.com or www.pharmasset.com, respectively. Alternatively, interested parties may access the discussion and ask questions by dialing 888-799-0528 (U.S. and Canada) or 973-200-3372 (international), conference ID # 95452531. A webcast replay will be available approximately three hours after the call and will be archived at www.intermune.com and at http://www.pharmasset.com.

- Combination of R7227, protease inhibitor, and R7128, nucleoside polymerase inhibitor, shows significant potency in reducing viral load in patients with hepatitis C - NUTLEY, N.J., BRISBANE, Calif., and PRINCETON, N.J., April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall -- The teleconference replay will be available for 10 business days following the call and can be accessed by dialing 800-642-1687 (U.S. and Canada) or 706-645-9291 (international), and entering conference ID # 95452531.

The companies recommend logging on at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the webcast to ensure adequate time for any software downloads that may be required.
About R7227 (ITMN-191)
R7227 is a potent, macrocyclic inhibitor of HCV NS3/4A protease activity, and has produced multi-log(10) reductions in levels of HCV levels in chronic HCV patients, when administered for 14 days as monotherapy and when combined with PEGASYS and COPEGUS. R7227 was safe and well-tolerated in these studies.
About R7128
R7128, a cytidine nucleoside analog inhibitor of HCV RNA polymerase, is being developed for the treatment of chronic HCV infection. R7128 has shown potent in vivo activity against all of the most common HCV genotypes (1, 2 and 3). R7128 was safe and well-tolerated when given with PEGASYS and COPEGUS for up to 28 days.

About PEGASYS
PEGASYS, in combination with COPEGUS (ribavirin), is indicated for the treatment of adults with chronic HCV who have compensated liver disease and have not previously been treated with interferon alpha. Efficacy has been demonstrated in patients with compensated liver disease and histological evidence of cirrhosis (Child-Pugh class A) and patients with HIV disease that are clinically stable (e.g., antiretroviral therapy not required or receiving stable antiretroviral therapy). In addition, PEGASYS in combination with COPEGUS is the first and only FDA-approved regimen for the treatment of chronic HCV in patients coinfected with HCV and HIV. PEGASYS is the only pegylated interferon indicated for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis B (HBeAg positive and HBeAg negative chronic hepatitis B who have compensated liver disease and evidence of viral replication and liver inflammation).
PEGASYS is dosed at 180mcg as a subcutaneous injection taken once a week. COPEGUS is available as a 200mg tablet, and is administered orally two times a day as a split dose. Roche has backed PEGASYS with the most extensive clinical research program ever undertaken in HCV, with major studies initiated to advance treatment for HCV patients with unmet needs, including patients co-infected with HIV and HCV, African Americans, patients with cirrhosis, and patients who have failed to respond to previous therapy.
Avatar universal
The addition of R7128 to R7227 resulted in sustained viral load reductions over the dosing period, with aproximately 63 percent of patients experiencing a decrease in viral levels below the quantification limit of the diagnostic assay (less than 40 IU/mL). Furthermore, 25 percent of patients in the highest dosage groups were below the limit of detection of the virus in their blood (less than 15 IU/mL) after 14 days.
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Not bad for NO INTERFERON. This is the hope for the future, as I see it. Treating without interferon. Some say this is impossible, but some also said that Telaprevir wouldn't work in prior non responders which it does
717272 tn?1277590780
I love all this conference news!  Even if these new drugs do not turn out to cure the virus but instead lower the VL significantly, it's well known that low VL at the start of SOC is about a 90% guarantee of RVR and later SVR.  Very, very encouraging for all sufferers of HCV and on the road to reduced treatment time.
577132 tn?1314266526
This is great news, thanks for posting!  I was on the Phase 1 R7128 study in May last year, enrolled as a Geno 3 Non-Responder.  R7128, in combo with SOC, took me to UND by week 4.  These are very exciting new developments...
338734 tn?1377160168
Sounds very exciting. I especially liked the "no interferon" part. - Thanks
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