Merck’s new hepatitis C drug, Boceprevir (Victrelis) has won recommendation for use in Britain’s state health service. It was widely discussed especially because the drug is especially expensive. This an important drug because unlike previous INV +Ribavirin combination therapy, Boceprevir can be used in the treatment of hepatitis due to HCV genotype 1, the most common form of hepatitis C. It will be used in combination with Pegylated Interferon and Ribavirin for genotype 1 hepatitis C.
Boceprevir is an NS3/4A protease inhibitor. This drug stops viral replication by binding to a protease that would work to cleave the polyprotein. Thus this drug prevents the production of functional viral protein. Pegylated interferons are used to moderate the immune system. Ribivirin is a nucleoside analog and when given with IFN, it can reduce viral replication.
Original Article from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/merck-britain-idUSL5E8E8AH120120309
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