Alisporivir is a cyclophilin inhibitor with pan-genotypic anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) activity and a high barrier to viral resistance. The VITAL-1 study assessed alisporivir as interferon (IFN)-free therapy in treatment-naïve patients infected with HCV genotype 2 or 3. Three hundred forty patients without cirrhosis were randomized to: arm 1, alisporivir (ALV) 1,000 mg once-daily (QD); arm 2, ALV 600 mg QD and ribavirin (RBV); arm 3, ALV 800 mg QD and RBV; arm 4, ALV 600 mg QD and pegylated IFN (Peg-IFN); or arm 5, Peg-IFN and RBV. Patients receiving IFN-free ALV regimens who achieved rapid virological response (RVR) continued the same treatment throughout, whereas those with detectable HCV RNA at week 4 received ALV, RBV, and Peg-IFN from weeks 6 to 24. Overall, 300 patients received ALV-based regimens. In arm 1 to arm 4, the intent-to-treat rates of sustained virological response (SVR) 24 weeks after treatment (SVR24) were from 80% to 85%, compared with 58% (n = 23 of 40) with Peg-IFN/RBV. Per-protocol analysis showed higher SVR24 rates in patients who received ALV/RBV, IFN-free after RVR (92%; n = 56 of 61) than with ALV alone after RVR (72%; n = 13 of 18) or with Peg-IFN/RBV (70%; n = 23 of 33). Both RVRs and SVRs to ALV IFN-free regimens were numerically higher in genotype 3- than in genotype 2-infected patients. Viral breakthrough was infrequent (3%; n = 7 of 258). IFN-free ALV treatment showed markedly better safety/tolerability than IFN-containing regimens.
Conclusions: ALV plus RBV represents an effective IFN-free option for a proportion of patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infections, with high SVR rates for patients with early viral clearance. Further investigations of ALV in IFN-free combination regimens with direct-acting antiviral drugs deserve exploration in future trials.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01215643.
© 2015 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.