The treatment, ACH-3102, is meant to be used in combination with Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Sovaldi (sofosbuvir). According to company-released data from Achillion, this combo treatment sent the hepatitis C virus running in six weeks.
A new, similar hepatitis C treatment, Gilead's Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir), achieved similar results in eight weeks, reports Reuters. AbbVie's recently approved Viekira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir and dasabuvir) takes 12 weeks.
"Our goal is to deliver short duration, widely accessible treatments to all [hepatitis C] patients," said Achillion President and CEO Dr. Milind Deshpande in a press release. "We believe that these results with ACH-3102 represent the shortest duration and highest response achieved to date with any two-drug, direct-acting antiviral regimen for [hepatitis C]. Given the exceptional profile of ACH-3102, we will now be evaluating four- and six-week treatment durations ..."
ACH-3102 has so far appeared safe and highly effective in an ongoing trial of the treatment. In that trial, all 18 patients who received the treatment for six weeks showed no signs of the hepatitis C virus 12 weeks after the treatment ended, according to Achillion.
Hepatitis C is a virus that can cause inflammation of the liver. Left untreated, it can cause liver cancer and liver failure.
The patients in the trial of ACH-3102 experienced no serious side effects during the trial.