Objective: Faldaprevir is a potent, once-daily hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3/4A protease inhibitor. STARTVerso4 assessed the efficacy and safety of faldaprevir and response-guided pegylated interferon α-2a/ribavirin (PegIFN/RBV) in individuals with HCV/HIV co-infection.
Design: A phase 3 open-label study (NCT01399619).
Methods: Individuals (N = 308) co-infected with HCV genotype 1 (treatment-naive or prior interferon relapsers) and HIV [96% on antiretroviral therapy (ART)] received faldaprevir 120 mg (N = 123) or 240 mg (N = 185) and PegIFN/RBV. Those receiving a protease inhibitor or efavirenz ART were assigned to faldaprevir 120 or 240 mg, respectively. Individuals achieving early treatment success (ETS; HCV RNA <25 IU/ml at week 4 and undetectable at week 8) were randomized to 24 or 48 weeks of PegIFN/RBV. The primary endpoint was sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment (SVR12).
Results: SVR12 was achieved in 221 (72%) individuals, and the rates were comparable across faldaprevir doses. ETS was achieved in 80%, and of these 86% achieved SVR12, with comparable rates with 24 and 48 weeks of PegIFN/RBV (87 and 94%, respectively). In multivariate analysis, age below 40 years, IL28B CC genotype, and baseline HCV RNA below 800 000 IU/ml were associated with SVR12 (P = 0.027, P < 0.0001, and P = 0.0002, respectively), whereas treatment (ART regimen and faldaprevir dose), liver cirrhosis, and genotype 1 subtype were not. The safety profile was comparable to that of faldaprevir in HCV-monoinfected individuals.
Conclusions: High SVR12 rates were achieved with faldaprevir and PegIFN/RBV in HIV/HCV co-infected individuals, regardless of faldaprevir dose and background ART, HCV genotype 1 subtype, or cirrhosis status. SVR rates mirrored those obtained with similar regimens in HCV monoinfected individuals.