TAMPA, Fla., April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Romark Laboratories, a privately
held biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has begun enrolling
patients in a U.S. clinical trial to evaluate nitazoxanide for the
treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Preliminary data from the study is
expected in the second half of 2008.
The study, STEALTH C-3 (Studies to Evaluate Alinia for Treatment of
Hepatitis C), is a Phase II randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of nitazoxanide
in combination with peginterferon alpha-2a (Pegasys(R), Roche) and
ribavirin (Copegus(R), Roche) in treatment naive patients with chronic
hepatitis C infected with genotype 1.
The primary objective of STEALTH C-3 is to evaluate sustained virologic
response (SVR) with a treatment regimen of 4 weeks of nitazoxanide lead-in
therapy followed by 48 weeks of standard of care plus nitazoxanide versus 4
weeks of placebo lead-in followed by 48 weeks of standard of care and
placebo. The trial will enroll 60 patients at 15 centers in the U.S.
"Earlier clinical studies in patients with chronic hepatitis C infected
with genotype 4 have shown that nitazoxanide improves virologic response
rates when used in combination with standard of care," said Dr. Emmet B.
Keeffe, Chief Medical Officer of Romark. "This study and our ongoing
STEALTH C-2 trial, are designed to evaluate the effect of treatment with
nitazoxanide plus standard of care in patients with genotype 1. Future
clinical trials will explore new combinations and treatment durations,
including current and emerging HCV therapies."
STEALTH C Clinical Development Program
STEALTH C-3 is the latest in a series of clinical trials aimed at
gaining a broad understanding of how nitazoxanide may benefit patients with
chronic hepatitis C genotype 1 when used in combination with peginterferon
and ribavirin. Other studies in the STEALTH C program include the
-- STEALTH C-2, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
currently enrolling up to 60 patients in the U.S. with chronic
hepatitis C genotype 1 who have previously failed to respond to the
standard of care with peginterferon and ribavirin. This trial is
designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of nitazoxanide
administered 500 mg twice daily for 4 weeks followed by nitazoxanide
plus standard of care for 48 weeks compared to placebo for 4 weeks
followed by standard of care plus placebo for 48 weeks.
-- STEALTH C-1, an international study in 120 treatment-naive and
interferon-experienced patients with chronic hepatitis C genotype 4.
Interim results from the randomized controlled Phase II clinical trial
were presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Association
for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in Boston, MA and demonstrated
that 79 percent of interferon-naive patients with chronic hepatitis C
genotype 4 receiving nitazoxanide plus the standard of care had a
sustained viral response (SVR) at 12 weeks following treatment,
compared to 43 percent of patients receiving the standard of care
without nitazoxanide. The patients treated with nitazoxanide also
experienced no relapse and no more side effects than patients who
received the standard of care. Final study results (SVR-24) will be
presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver
(EASL) in April 2008.
To learn more about Romark clinical trials currently under way, or to
find out if a study is recruiting patients in your area, please visit
www.romarktrials.com, or www.clinicaltrials.gov (for the latter, enter the
search terms "nitazoxanide hepatitis United States.")
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infectious disease that is caused by the
hepatitis C virus (HCV). It is the most common cause of chronic hepatitis
in the U.S. and may eventually lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver
failure. The disease is transmitted by contact with HCV-infected blood. A
large majority of those infected do not show symptoms, but fatigue,
abdominal pain and nausea can be common. The current standard treatment of
care, peginterferon and ribavirin, is effective in about half of all
patients treated. According to the Centers for Disease Control, HCV affects
an estimated 4.1 million Americans.
About Romark Laboratories
Romark Laboratories (www.romark.com), a privately held
biopharmaceutical company, has discovered and developed a new class of
small molecule antivirals known as thiazolides. The Company is developing
nitazoxanide, the first of the thiazolide class, for the treatment of
chronic hepatitis C, and is developing other new thiazolides for treating
viral diseases including chronic hepatitis B. Alinia(R) (nitazoxanide) is
approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and marketed by Romark
for the treatment of infections caused by Cryptosporidium or Giardia.
SOURCE Romark Laboratories