News from Hepatitis Week of April 13, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 15

Study: Pegasys Twice as Effective in Treating Hepatitis B

A new generation Hepatitis C drug is twice as effective as interferon for patients infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), according to a study reported April 9 at the International Symposium on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease in Sydney, Australia.

The study involved 194 patients who were treated with either conventional interferon three times weekly or Pegasys once weekly for 24 weeks.

Pegasys was more than twice as effective as conventional interferon in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B in regard to the combined response of stopping viral replication and controlling the virus as well as enabling normal functioning of the liver.

In patients with low pre-treatment alanine aminotransferase, the combined response was achieved in 27 percent of patients treated with Pegasys compared to 11 percent of patients treated with conventional interferon.

In patients with high pre-treatment HBV DNA, the combined response was achieved in 20 percent of patients on Pegasys compared to 14 percent of patients treated with conventional interferon.

In patients with HBV genotype C, the combined response was achieved by 21 percent of Pegasys patients compared to 6 percent of interferon patients.

Other sources: Roche