NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., July 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a global biopharmaceutical company, announced today that the European Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency has granted a positive opinion for the use of 12 weeks of VIEKIRAX® (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir tablets) with ribavirin (RBV) in genotype 4 (GT4) chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected adult patients with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A). VIEKIRAX with RBV is currently approved in the European Union for GT4 patients with compensated cirrhosis for 24 weeks.
"Through optimizing the use of VIEKIRAX, AbbVie strives to meet the needs of patients and physicians, including a shortened treatment duration," said Michael Severino, M.D., executive vice president, research and development and chief scientific officer, AbbVie. "This milestone is progress toward an approval that would allow us to provide the opportunity for a cure with just 12 weeks of our regimen to genotype 4 patients with or without compensated cirrhosis in Europe."
Chronic HCV affects more than 160 million people worldwide,4 with 34 million people living with GT4 HCV infection.3 In Europe, where nine million people are infected with HCV,2 GT4 is becoming increasingly prevalent in several countries including Italy, France, Greece and Spain, where prevalence rates from 10 to 24 percent have been reported.3
The CHMP positive opinion is supported by data from a dedicated Phase 3 AGATE-I study of GT4 HCV infected patients with compensated cirrhosis. The randomized, open-label study evaluated the safety and efficacy of VIEKIRAX and RBV for 12 and 16 weeks. Results from the study showed that with 12 weeks of treatment with VIEKIRAX and RBV, 97 percent (n=57/59) of patients achieved sustained virologic response at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12 ).1
"Until recently people living with genotype 4 chronic hepatitis C had limited treatment options," said Tarik Asselah, M.D., lead study author and professor at Université Paris Diderot. "If approved, this 12-week treatment would mark another step forward in the cure for GT4 patients, allowing difficult-to-cure patients with compensated cirrhosis to be treated in half the time with VIEKIRAX, representing a significant benefit for both them and their physicians."
Results from the AGATE-I study also showed that patients treated with 16 weeks of VIEKIRAX and RBV achieved 98 percent (n=60/61) SVR12 rates. The most commonly reported adverse events (≥20 percent) in the 12-week arm were asthenia, fatigue and headache (18 percent, 17 percent and 23 percent respectively); and for the 16 week arm were fatigue, asthenia, headache, anemia, nausea, and pruritus (33 percent, 32 percent, 23 percent, 23 percent and 20 percent respectively).1 One patient in the 12-week group experienced virologic breakthrough and one discontinued prematurely after the first day of treatment. One patient missed the post-treatment week 12 visit in the 16-week group.1 The full study results were published online in The Lancet in June 2016.
VIEKIRAX is approved in the European Union for the treatment of genotype 4 (GT4) chronic HCV infection. VIEKIRAX tablets consist of the fixed-dose combination of paritaprevir 150mg (NS3/4A protease inhibitor) and ritonavir 100mg with ombitasvir 25mg (NS5A inhibitor), dosed once daily.
Currently, in GT4 HCV infected patients VIEKIRAX with RBV is taken for 12 weeks, except in patients with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A), who should take it for 24 weeks.
Paritaprevir was discovered during the ongoing collaboration between AbbVie and Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENTA) for hepatitis C 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 chronic hepatitis C.
Additional information about AbbVie's hepatitis C development program can be found on www.clinicaltrials.gov.
VIEKIRAX is indicated in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in adults.
Important EU Safety Information
VIEKIRAX is contraindicated in patients with severe hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh C). Patients taking ethinyl estradiol-containing medicinal products must discontinue them and switch to an alternative method of contraception prior to initiating VIEKIRAX. Do not give VIEKIRAX with certain drugs that are sensitive CYP3A4 substrates or strong inhibitors of CYP3A4. Do not give VIEKIRAX with strong or moderate enzyme inducers.
Special warnings and precautions for use:
VIEKIRAX is not recommended as monotherapy and should be used in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of hepatitis C infection.
Risk of Hepatic Decompensation and Hepatic Failure in Patients with Cirrhosis
VIEKIRAX is not recommended in patients with moderate hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh B). Patients with cirrhosis should be monitored for signs and symptoms of hepatic decompensation, including hepatic laboratory testing at baseline and during treatment.
Transient elevations of ALT to >x5 ULN without concomitant elevations of bilirubin occurred in clinical trials with VIEKIRAX and dasabuvir with or without ribavirin and more frequent in a subgroup who were using ethinyl estradiol-containing contraceptives.
Pregnancy and concomitant use with ribavirin:
Extreme caution must be taken to avoid pregnancy in female patients and female partners of male patients when VIEKIRAX is taken in combination with ribavirin, see section 4.6 and refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics for ribavirin for additional information.
Use with concomitant medicinal products:
Use caution when administering VIEKIRAX with fluticasone or other glucocorticoids that are metabolized by CYP3A4. A reduction in colchicine dosage or interruption in colchicine is recommended in patients with normal renal or hepatic function. VIEKIRAX with or without dasabuvir is expected to increase exposure of statins so certain statins need to be discontinued or dosages reduced. Low dose ritonavir, which is part of VIEKIRAX, may select for PI resistance in HIV co-infected patients without ongoing antiretroviral therapy. HIV co-infected patients without suppressive antiretroviral therapy should not be treated with VIEKIRAX.
Most common (>20%) adverse reactions for VIEKIRAX and dasabuvir with RBV were fatigue and nausea.
Full summary of product characteristics is available at www.ema.europa.eu.
Globally, prescribing information varies; refer to the individual country product label for complete information.
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. Together with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pharmacyclics, AbbVie employs more than 28,000 people worldwide and markets medicines in more than 170 countries. For further information on the company and its people, portfolio and commitments, please visit www.abbvie.com. Follow @abbvie on Twitter or view careers on our Facebook or LinkedIn page.
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 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AbbVie undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to forward-looking statements as a result of subsequent events or developments, except as required by law.
1 Asselah T, Hezode C, Qaqish R. et al. Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir plus ribavirin in adults with hepatitis C virus genotype 4 infection and cirrhosis (AGATE-I): a multicentre, phase 3, randomised open-label trial. The Lancet Online. Accessed 22 June 2016; http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/langas/PIIS2468-1253(16)30001-2.pdf.
2 Hatzakis, A. et al. The state of hepatitis B and C in Europe: report from the hepatitis B and C summit conference. Journal of Viral Hepatitis, 2011; 18 (Suppl. 1):1-16.
3 Khattab MA, et al. Management of hepatitis C virus genotype 4: Recommendations of an International Expert Panel. J Hepatol. 2011; 54: 1250–1262.
4 Lavanchy D. Evolving epidemiology of hepatitis C virus. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2011; 17(2):107-15.