Infergen is a consensus interferon. Unlike the alpha-interferons used in PegIntron and Pegasys, it is not a naturally occuring interferon.
In the U.S., Infergen was approved to treat relapsers or those that did not respond to the alpha-interferon. This was when alpha-interferon monotherapy or combo-therapy (with Ribavirin) with dosing of the interferon three times a week (TIW) was standard treatment.
Some genius doctor (heavy sarcasm) figured out that daily dosing of interferon, in this case Infergen, produced better results than TIW dosing. So, prior to the pegylated interferons PegIntron, Pegasys, daily Infergen + Ribavirin was the best show in town. Daily Infergen + Riba is still a good option for retreatment.
Once upon a time, I read that a pegylated version of Infergen was being developed. I've quit constant active research, so I don't know where it is in development/testing.
I hope this helps. -Michael
I believe that most who are treating with infergen are people who have already shown a less then effective result from using one of the pegylated interferons. As a type 1a I treated with Peg-intron and Rebetol(Ribavirin) for 48 weeks and relapsed. The general consensus is that side effects are milder with Pegasys and the copegasys is just another brand of Ribavirin. As a person treating for the first time I believe Pegasys and copeg are a good choice and if I were to treat again those are the drugs I would choose to treat with due to the milder sides. Someone may give you more helpful technical info here. Be patient though as weekends can be slow on the forum. frank
Thank you so much for your prompt answers. The info really helps. :)
Infergen is manufactured by Amgen who does not have the financial clout of a Roache (Pegasys) or a Shearing Plough (Peg Intron).
I'm thinking for this reason (at least in part) they've been relegated to "cleaning up" the mess left by the other two drugs in hard-to-treat cases, while the big boys get first shot (and the big money)in most cases.
One would think that if Infergen has a better track record for re-treatment, then it might be better for treating tx naive patients.
So where are all the trials in hard-to-treat geno 1, tx naive patients pitting Infergen against Pegasys and/or Peg Intron? I coldn't find any although the Ideal trial seems in full swing pitting two almost identical Pegs against each other ad nauseum :)
The only thing I read about was a trial with geno 2's and 3's which showed no difference between the peg's and infergen. But with the high SVR rate in this group, this trial really doesn't offer a lot.
Some might say that Infergen isn't used initially because of it's "severe" side effects. But at least on an anecdotal level, many doctors say the sides are identical. In fact, some doctors are using lower doses of Infergen with success and report very minimial side effects. Still no studies that I know of.
So unless you want to go where not too many people have gone before, then you're stuck with Pegasys or Peg Intron initially.
But I'd really like to see some decent head-to-head trials of Infergen for tx naive geno 1's.
(Most of the above is simply speculation and editorial. I'm not a doctor, haven't done any studies, haven't found any studies, so have no idea if Infergen is better than the Peg's, although logic suggests it might be.)
Big drug company rant over. :)
At 5 months of tx, my blood test showed only a 1.5 log drop (before this I haven't been tested, the doctor wanted to wait). So now he has upped the the PegIntron shot from .04 to .05 and kept the rib at 1000. I have lost 20 pounds so that should help. So after a month, he wants to check again and if I haven't done the log drop, he wants to discontinue treatment. I have no unbearable sx, just a little tired and weak and little things. He tells me that daily shots of interfergen for a year is the next thing. (I am 1b, stage 2...3 for the other thing.) That sounds really unbearable. What is next for non-responders? Do we keep asking for this other treatment...or do we stop and just get worse. I know everyone is different but if we try and take care of ourselves, how long til it gets bad? Or do we just live on and slowly fall apart? In other words, what is next?
Hi there. thanks for the response. Don