Healthcare Industry News: Consensus Interferon
News Release - July 6, 2010
Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals Announces FDA Approval Of Expanded Labeling of INFERGENWARRENDALE, Pa.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals, LLC, today received expanded labeling from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to include daily use of INFERGEN (Consensus Interferon) in combination with ribavirin (RBV) for retreatment of chronic hepatitis C patients. The expanded labeling targets hepatitis C patients who need retreatment. In the clinical trial leading to the expanded labeling, the primary endpoint of increased sustained virological response (SVR) was achieved demonstrating that INFERGEN provides a second chance for patients to clear their hepatitis C virus.
“Approximately 50 percent of patients with chronic hepatitis C do not respond to their initial course of therapy,” stated Dr. Bruce Bacon, the lead investigator for the registration trial. “The FDA’s recognition of this expanded label allows patients failing therapy a safe and efficacious retreatment strategy. The results from this study legitimize how we properly treat these patients helping them to achieve SVR.”
The data reported and published in Hepatology (2009) from the U.S.-based, randomized, DIRECT clinical trial (Daily-Dose Consensus Interferon and Ribavirin: Efficacy of Combined Therapy) led to the approval of the expanded label. Results from the DIRECT trial had shown that the use of INFERGEN and RBV is a safe and effective retreatment strategy for patients failing initial therapy with PEG-IFN/RBV. This was especially apparent with interferon-sensitive patients with lower baseline fibrosis scores. In fact, up to 38 percent of non-cirrhotic patients (in the 15mcg arm) who were sensitive to Peg-IFN/RBV and who did not modify their INFERGEN and RBV dosages achieved an SVR. Additionally, patients with cirrhosis were less likely to benefit from retreatment with INFERGEN and RBV unless they displayed previous interferon sensitivity or at least 1-log10 drop in viral levels on prior therapy.
“The expanded labeling for INFERGEN is a significant step forward for retreatment of hepatitis C patients who deserve a second chance to overcome their HCV,” stated Patrick Kerrish, R.Ph, M.B.A., President of Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals, LLC. “Our hope is that INFERGEN will become the standard of care for the retreatment of chronic hepatitis C patients.”
Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals, LLC is expanding its INFERGEN and hepatitis C education efforts via physician outreach and online patient support programs. An instructional video and guide about proper at-home injections of INFERGEN, tips for patient compliance, access to reimbursement specialists and a hotline staffed by nurse counselors are available at www.infergen.com.
About Consensus Interferon (INFERGEN®)
Consensus Interferon or INFERGEN is a unique, bio-optimized, selective and highly potent type 1 interferon alpha. Because it is a bioengineered interferon, it is also different from other interferons currently used to treat chronic hepatitis C virus. INFERGEN is indicated for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection in patients 18 years of age or older with compensated liver disease. Additionally, INFERGEN is now FDA approved for daily use in combination with ribavirin in HCV patients who need retreatment. More prescribing information regarding INFERGEN, including the product’s safety profile and the box warning for all interferon alphas regarding neuropsychiatric, autoimmune, ischemic and infectious disorders, are available by visiting the product website at www.infergen.com.
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis C is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Hepatitis C virus can be either "acute" or "chronic." Acute hepatitis C virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the hepatitis C virus. Seventy five-85% of acute HCV infections become chronic HCV infections. Chronic hepatitis C virus is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, or even death. There is currently no vaccine available for prevention of hepatitis C virus.
About Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals
Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals is a privately held company headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania and focuses on specialized therapies including hepatitis C therapies. With its unique experience and understanding of the complex challenges of treating chronic, difficult diseases, Three Rivers is a valuable partner in the healthcare community. The company's mission is to develop, manufacture, and market the highest quality branded and generic drug products for patients with serious diseases. More information on the company is available at www.3riverspharma.com.
Source: Three Rivers Pharmaceuticals
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