Healthcare Industry News:  ombitasvir 

Biopharmaceuticals Regulatory

 News Release - January 16, 2015

European Commission Grants Marketing Authorizations for AbbVie's VIEKIRAX(R) (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir tablets) + EXVIERA(R) (dasabuvir tablets) for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C

In Phase 3 clinical trials, VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA cured 95-100 percent of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C patients, with less than 2 percent of patients experiencing virologic failure[1],[2]

Tolerability profile shows more than 98 percent of patients completed a full course of therapy[3]

All-oral, interferon-free regimen also approved for HCV/HIV-1 co-infection, patients on opioid substitution therapy and patients who have undergone a liver transplant[1],[2]

VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA are the first products to be approved as a combination treatment of three direct-acting antivirals with distinct mechanisms of action targeting hepatitis C at multiple steps in the viral lifecycle[1],[2]

NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., Jan. 16, 2015 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- AbbVie (ABBV) announced that the European Commission has granted marketing authorizations for its all-oral, short-course, interferon-free treatment of VIEKIRAX® (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir tablets) + EXVIERA® (dasabuvir tablets).1,2 The treatment has been approved with or without ribavirin (RBV) for patients with genotype 1 (GT1) chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including those with compensated liver cirrhosis, HIV-1 co-infection, patients on opioid substitution therapy and liver transplant recipients.1,2 Additionally, VIEKIRAX has been approved for use with RBV in genotype 4 (GT4) chronic hepatitis C patients.1

"The approval of AbbVie's hepatitis C treatment in the European Union, following the recent approvals in the U.S. and Canada, offers patients across Europe a new and effective treatment to cure this serious disease," said Richard Gonzalez, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, AbbVie. "We are committed to working with local governments and healthcare systems to support broad access to VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA."

The approvals follow a review under accelerated assessment by the European Medicines Agency, designated to new medicines of major public health interest. Approximately nine million people in Europe are infected with chronic hepatitis C, a major cause of liver cancer and liver transplantation.4 Genotype 1 is the most prevalent form of hepatitis C in Europe, accounting for 60 percent of cases worldwide.5 In Europe, the most prevalent sub-genotype is 1b (47 percent).6 Genotype 4, most common in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Egypt, is becoming increasingly prevalent in several European countries, including Italy, France, Greece and Spain.7 AbbVie's treatment is now licensed for use in all 28 member countries of the European Union, as well as in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

"Hepatitis C is a complex disease, with multiple genotypes and special patient populations that need to be considered when determining the right treatment for an individual patient," said Stefan Zeuzem, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the department of medicine I, J.W. Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany. "In clinical trials, AbbVie's treatment achieved high cure rates with low rates of discontinuation across a variety of patient populations, making it an important addition to the class of therapies that is changing the way hepatitis C is being treated."

Treating hepatitis C is complex because the virus mutates and replicates rapidly. VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA are the first products to be approved as a combination treatment of three direct-acting antivirals with distinct mechanisms of action and non-overlapping resistance profiles to target hepatitis C at multiple steps in the viral lifecycle.1,2

"With the approval of VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA in the European Union, we are offering a treatment that achieved high cure rates for people living with GT1 and GT4 chronic hepatitis C," said Michael Severino, M.D., executive vice president, research and development and chief scientific officer, AbbVie. "This is an important part of our ongoing commitment to advancing public health by applying innovative science to the development of promising medicines."

Robust Clinical Development Program

The approval of VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA is supported by a robust clinical development program designed to study the safety and efficacy of the regimen in more than 2,300 enrolled patients across 25 countries.1,2 The program consisted of six pivotal Phase 3 studies, which demonstrated that VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA cured 95-100 percent of hepatitis C patients with GT1 HCV infection who received the recommended regimen, with less than 2 percent of patients experiencing virologic failure.1,2 Additionally, more than 98 percent (n=2,011/2,053) of patients in clinical trials completed a full course of therapy.3 Most common (>20 percent) adverse reactions for VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA with RBV were fatigue and nausea.1,2

The approval of VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA is also based on the results from Phase 2 clinical trials in GT1 chronic HCV infected patients, which showed that VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA cured 97 percent (n=33/34) of liver transplant recipients, 92 percent (n=58/63) of patients co-infected with HIV-1 and 97 percent (n=37/38) of patients on opioid substitution therapy.1,2 Patients who achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR12) are considered cured of hepatitis C.

Approval of VIEKIRAX in GT4 chronic hepatitis C was based on a Phase 2 study in which patients treated with VIEKIRAX with RBV achieved 100 percent SVR12.1


VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA is approved for the treatment of genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus infection, including patients with compensated cirrhosis. VIEKIRAX consists of the fixed-dose combination of paritaprevir 150mg (NS3/4A protease inhibitor) and ritonavir 100mg with ombitasvir 25mg (NS5A inhibitor), dosed once daily, and EXVIERA consists of dasabuvir 250mg (non-nucleoside NS5B polymerase inhibitor) dosed twice daily taken with or without ribavirin, dosed twice daily. VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA is taken for 12 weeks with or without RBV, except in GT1a patients with cirrhosis, who should take it for 24 weeks.

For the treatment of genotype 4 chronic hepatitis C patients, AbbVie's treatment consists of VIEKIRAX dosed once daily taken with RBV, dosed twice daily.

Paritaprevir was discovered during the ongoing collaboration between AbbVie and Enanta Pharmaceuticals (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

EU Indication

VIEKIRAX is indicated in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in adults. EXVIERA is indicated in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) in adults.

Important EU Safety Information


VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA are 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 + EXVIERA. Do not give VIEKIRAX with certain drugs that are sensitive CYP3A substrates or strong inhibitors of CYP3A. Do not give VIEKIRAX and EXVIERA with strong or moderate enzyme inducers. Do not give EXVIERA with certain drugs that are strong inhibitors of CYP2C8.

Special warnings and precautions for use:

VIEKIRAX and EXVIERA are not recommended as monotherapy and should be used in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of hepatitis C infection.

Pregnancy and concomitant use with ribavirin

When VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA are used in combination with ribavirin, women of childbearing potential or their male partners must use an effective form of contraception during the treatment and 6 months after the treatment. Refer to the Summary of Product Characteristics for ribavirin for additional information.

ALT elevations

Transient elevations of ALT to >5x ULN without concomitant elevations of bilirubin occurred in clinical trials with VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA and were more frequent in a subgroup who were using ethinyl estradiol-containing contraceptives.

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 EXVIERA 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.

Adverse Reactions

Most common (>20 percent) adverse reactions for VIEKIRAX + EXVIERA with RBV were fatigue and nausea.

Full summary of product characteristics is available at

Globally, prescribing information varies; refer to the individual country product label for complete information.

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 approximately 25,000 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.

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. VIEKIRAX™ tablets (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir) Summary of product characteristics. Maidenhead, UK. AbbVie, Ltd.

2. EXVIERA™ tablets (dasabuvir) Summary of product characteristics. Maidenhead, UK. AbbVie, Ltd.

3. Data on file

4. 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

5. Global Alert and Response (GAR): Hepatitis C. World Health Organisation Web site. Published 2003. Accessed December 2014

6. O'Leary JG, Davis GL. Hepatitis C. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 9th ed, Vol 1. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier. 2010:1313-1335

7. Khattab MA, et al. Management of hepatitis C virus genotype 4: Recommendations of an International Expert Panel. J Hepatol. 2011; 54: 1250-1262

Source: AbbVie

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