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Reuters Health Information (2012-11-12): Boehringer Ingelheim to start late-stage hepatitis C drug trial

Drug & Device Development

Boehringer Ingelheim to start late-stage hepatitis C drug trial

Last Updated: 2012-11-12 19:30:26 -0400 (Reuters Health)

BOSTON (Reuters) - Boehringer Ingelheim said on Saturday it plans to initiate a late-stage clinical trial of its experimental hepatitis C treatment following promising results from earlier studies.

In the mid-stage SOUND-C2 trial, Boehringer tested a combination of BI-201335, a protease inhibitor, BI-207127, a polymerase inhibitor, and ribavirin.

Final data showed that 69% of patients in the study were free of the virus 12 and 24 weeks following the end of treatment, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in Boston.

Preliminary data were presented earlier this year.

Historically, hepatitis C has been treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, but treatment lasts as long as 48 weeks and interferon is associated with flu-like side effects.

The goal of drugmakers now, including Boehringer, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc, Gilead Sciences Inc and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co is to develop products that do not need to be combined with interferon. Most analysts consider Gilead to currently be at the forefront of the race.

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