FDA OKs Expanded US of Gilead’s Hepatitis C Drug Combo
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Gilead Sciences’ Harvoni(ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) for expanded use in patients with genotype 4, 5 and 6 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and in patients co-infected with HIV. In addition, Harvoni plus ribavirin (RBV) for 12 weeks was approved as an alternate therapy to 24 weeks of Harvoni for treatment-experienced, genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis. Harvoni received regulatory approval for the treatment of chronic HCV genotype 1 infection in adults in the United States in October 2014.
Harvoni, along with Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) are two important HCV drugs for Gilead. In 2013, Gilead Sciences received FDA approval for Sovaldi to HCV infection, the first drug oral drug to treat certain types of HCV infection without the need for co-administration of interferon as a component of a combination antiviral treatmen regimen. Solvadi was approved to treat subjects with HCV genotype 1, 2, 3 or 4 infection, including those with hepatocellular carcinoma meeting Milan criteria (awaiting liver transplantation) and those with HCV/HIV-1 co-infection. Sovaldi was Gilead's top-selling drug in 2014 and was one of the industry's top-selling drugs with 2014 sales of $10.28 billion, making it one of the most successful first-year launches for a new molecular entity. Sovaldi, which was approved by the FDA in December 2013 and in the European Union in January 2014, was the first drug that demonstrated safety and efficacy to treat certain types of HCV infection without the need for co-administration of interferon, which is administered by injection. Sovaldi is a nucleotide analog inhibitor that blocks a specific protein needed by the hepatitis C virus to replicate, and that mechanism of action was considered an important advancement as well as the ability to administer the drug orally. Gilead's Harvoni, an oral combination of sofosbuvir and ledipasvir for treating HCV, was approved and launched in the US in October 2014.
Source: Gilead Sciences