Combination of ravidasvir with already known drugs has shown to be 97% effective for hepatitis C treatment.
Clinical trials proved that combination of drugs that includes newly-developed ravidasvir and sofosbuvir, which is already in use in medical practice, has treated 97% of patients. The cost of the treatment course using the new drug is expected to be $300, which is rather affordable for the most disadvantaged population groups.
The study was conducted by non-profit research and development organisation Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) in collaboration with the Malaysian Ministry of Health in ten sites in Malaysia and Thailand. A total of 301 adults participated in this study.
The treatment course for patients without cirrhosis of the liver lasted 12 weeks, and for those with compensated cirrhosis – 24 weeks. The combination of drugs has shown a high efficiency even in difficult cases. Thus, 96% of people with liver cirrhosis, 97% of people with HIV, and 96% of those, who had been exposed to previous HCV treatments, were cured from hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. It is a bloodborne virus transmittable through injection drug use, transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products, etc. It may be also sexually transmitted or from mother to infant, however, this happens much less frequently.
About 15-45% of infected persons spontaneously clear the virus within six months of infection without any treatment. The remaining persons will develop chronic HCV infection. Of those with chronic HCV infection, the risk of cirrhosis of the liver within 20 years is rather high. Prevalence of HCV infection all over the world varies from 0.5% to 2.3%.
As reported by WHO, 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection. Approximately 400,000 people die each year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C, however research in this area is ongoing.
Current methods of treatment allow us to eliminate this disease in 95% of cases, however the access to treatment remains low. Thus, WHO reports that in 2016 the global coverage of hepatitis C curative treatment was 13% only.