AbbVie Submits New Drug Application in Japan for its Investigational, All-Oral, Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis C

- Submission based on Phase 3 GIFT-I study in patients with genotype 1b chronic hepatitis C virus infection

- GIFT-I met its primary endpoint, achieving 95 percent sustained virologic response rate at 12 weeks post-treatment; two patients (0.9 percent) discontinued treatment due to adverse events

- AbbVie's treatment for Japanese hepatitis C patients consists of a 12-week, two direct-acting antiviral, fixed-dose combination of paritaprevir/ritonavir with ombitasvir, dosed once daily

Feb 11, 2015, 22:04 ET from AbbVie

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Feb. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) seeking approval for the company's investigational, all-oral, ribavirin (RBV) and interferon (IFN)-free, 12-week, two direct-acting antiviral treatment of ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir (OBV/PTV/r), dosed once daily. The submission is for the treatment of patients with genotype 1 (GT1) chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

The NDA is supported by the Phase 3 GIFT-I study, which met its primary endpoint, achieving a 95 percent (n=106/112) sustained virologic response rate at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12) in the sub-group of previously untreated, non-cirrhotic, adult genotype 1b (GT1b)-infected Japanese patients who were eligible for therapy with IFN and had a high viral load (≥ 100,000 IU/mL). Additionally, two patients without cirrhosis (0.9 percent) discontinued treatment due to adverse events. GIFT-I included a placebo-controlled arm and studied patients with and without compensated cirrhosis, who were new to therapy or treatment-experienced (with IFN and with or without RBV).

"We are pleased to announce the regulatory submission of our two direct-acting hepatitis C antiviral treatment in Japan, which follows on quickly from recent approvals of our three direct-acting antiviral treatment in the U.S., Canada and the European Union," said Scott Brun, M.D., vice president, pharmaceutical development, AbbVie. "This submission is based on a large Phase 3 study in multiple patient types and brings us closer to offering the possibility of cure for patients with chronic genotype 1b hepatitis C infection, the most common form of the disease in the country."

AbbVie studied a two direct-acting antiviral regimen without RBV in Japan due to patient and viral characteristics specific to the Japanese population, including high prevalence of GT1b. In Japan, approximately 1.5 to 2 million people are living with HCV.1 Genotype 1 is the most common HCV genotype in Japan with 60 to 70 percent of patients infected and, of those, about 95 percent are infected with the GT1b sub-type.2

About the GIFT-I Study
GIFT-I (M13-004) is a Phase 3, multi-center study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 12 weeks of treatment with ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir (OBV/PTV/r) in adult Japanese patients (n=363) with chronic genotype 1b hepatitis C virus infection. Patients included those without cirrhosis and with compensated cirrhosis, who were new to therapy (treatment-naïve) or had failed previous treatment with interferon with or without ribavirin (treatment-experienced).

The study consists of two sub-studies. Sub-study one included patients without cirrhosis randomized to OBV/PTV/r or placebo. Sub-study two included patients with compensated cirrhosis, who received open-label treatment with OBV/PTV/r.

Within the primary efficacy patient population, there were no on-treatment virologic failures and 2.8 percent of patients (n=3/109) experienced relapse.

In patients without cirrhosis, the most commonly reported adverse events in the treatment arm were nasopharyngitis (16.7 percent OBV/PTV/r vs. 13.2 percent placebo), headache (8.8 percent OBV/PTV/r vs. 9.4 percent placebo), and oedema peripheral (5.1 percent OBV/PTV/r vs. 0 percent placebo).

Additional information about AbbVie's GIFT-I study can be found on

About AbbVie's Investigational Two Direct-Acting Antiviral HCV Treatment
For the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Japan, AbbVie's investigational two direct-acting antiviral treatment consists of the fixed-dose combination of paritaprevir/ritonavir (150/100 mg) with ombitasvir (25 mg), dosed once daily.

AbbVie's chronic HCV treatment combines two direct-acting antivirals, each with a distinct mechanism of action that targets and inhibits specific HCV proteins of the viral replication process.

About AbbVie's HCV Clinical Development Program in Japan
AbbVie's HCV clinical development program in Japan focuses on its investigational, two direct-acting antiviral treatment and is designed with the goal of achieving high SVR rates in chronic HCV infected patients, including additional genotypes and patients with compensated cirrhosis.

Paritaprevir was discovered during the ongoing collaboration between AbbVie and Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENTA) for HCV protease inhibitors and regimens that include protease inhibitors. Paritaprevir has been developed by AbbVie for use in combination with AbbVie's other investigational medicines for the treatment of hepatitis C.

Ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir is an investigational product and its safety and efficacy have not been established in Japan.

About AbbVie
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company's mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world's most complex and serious diseases. AbbVie employs more than 26,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.

Forward-Looking Statements
Some statements in this news release may be forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "project" and similar expressions, among others, generally identify forward-looking statements. AbbVie cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, challenges to intellectual property, competition from other products, difficulties inherent in the research and development process, adverse litigation or government action, and changes to laws and regulations applicable to our industry. 

Additional information about the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors that may affect AbbVie's operations is set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," in AbbVie's 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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1 Kohnodai Hospital. National Center for Global Health and Medicine [cited 20 February 2013]. Available from: 
2 Hajarizadeh B et al. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013; 10: 553-562. Accessed December 2014