Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced plans to enroll an additional treatment arm as part of its ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating 12-week regimens of Vertex's lead investigational hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease inhibitor, telaprevir, in combination with its lead investigational HCV polymerase inhibitor, VX-222. The planned treatment arm is supported by emerging data from multiple ongoing clinical trials of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapies, including the trial of telaprevir/VX-222-based combination therapy, which suggest that adding ribavirin to a DAA treatment regimen may increase antiviral activity. In the additional arm, Vertex plans to evaluate a 12-week combination of three oral therapies - VX-222, telaprevir and ribavirin - dosed twice a day within a response-guided regimen.
“Evaluating a 12-week combination of telaprevir, VX-222 and ribavirin will provide us with important information about the potential for this all-oral regimen that could be taken twice a day.”
"We are encouraged by the high viral cure rates and shorter treatment durations reported in Phase 3 studies of telaprevir-based combination therapy, and we remain focused on continuing to develop new potential treatments for hepatitis C," said Robert Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Vertex. "Evaluating a 12-week combination of telaprevir, VX-222 and ribavirin will provide us with important information about the potential for this all-oral regimen that could be taken twice a day."