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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


99 percent Of Patients on Pegasysâ Remain 'Cured' of Hepatitis C Virus When Tested Three Years Later

Study showing long-lasting efficacy presented at American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD

12 November, 2001 -- The first study evaluating the long-term effectiveness of PEGASYSâ, peginterferon alfa-2a (40KD), a promising new hepatitis C treatment, has found that 99% of patients remain viral free when examined two to three years later.

This study with PEGASYS demonstrates the only permanent and long-lasting results that have been reported for pegylated interferons after monitoring patients for several years following completion of therapy. Results of this study were presented today at the 52nd Annual Meeting of American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. 

“Our study findings should give hepatitis C patients treated with PEGASYS confidence that if they are virus free six months after completing therapy, they are very likely ‘cured’ of their disease,” said Dr. Mark Swain, the principal investigator from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

Importantly, two-thirds of the Hepatitis C Virus patients participating in this study were originally infected with genotype 1 Hepatitis C Virus, which is associated with a lower overall response to therapy. Genotype 1 also represents the majority of those infected with hepatitis C in North America and Europe. Furthermore, 25 per cent of patients were cirrhotics, another difficult-to-treat population. 


To date, more than 300 patients have enrolled in the study, which includes patients that had previously participated in one of the three Phase III studies with PEGASYS. Patients were included if they had completed the 24 week follow-up period in the original study and patients could not be on any anti-Hepatitis C Virus therapy subsequent to their original treatment. All patients were off original therapy for two to three years.

PEGASYS: A Unique Treatment

PEGASYS is the next-generation [large 40 kilodalton (KD) and branched] pegylated interferon for the treatment of Hepatitis C Virus that provides consistent and sustained viral suppression, resulting in a superior clinical profile. With more than 13,000 PEGASYS-treated patients involved in clinical trials worldwide, PEGASYS has demonstrated the highest sustained virological response seen to date with pegylated interferons in both monotherapy trials and combination (with ribavirin) trials. Conveniently injected once weekly in a standard dose for all body weights, it has been developed as a true once weekly antiviral to overcome the limited effectiveness and multiple side effects seen with the current standard of care. 

PEGASYS recently received its first worldwide approval in Switzerland and has since been approved in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Kuwait, and Peru with approvals currently pending in several other Latin American countries. PEGASYS has been filed with regulatory authorities in the European Union and the United States, where it is expected to be approved next year, as well as being filed in Canada and many other countries.


About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a potentially life threatening viral infection that can lead to liver inflammation, liver disease, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Transmitted primarily through infected blood, more than 170 million people worldwide are infected, making it more common than the HIV virus. 

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Distributed by: Patients NewsWire