Background and purpose: Peginterferon Lambda was being developed as an alternative to alfa interferon for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. We compared peginterferon Lambda-1a plus ribavirin (Lambda/RBV) and Lambda/RBV plus daclatasvir (DCV; pangenotypic NS5A inhibitor) with peginterferon alfa-2a plus RBV (alfa/RBV) in treatment-naive patients with HCV genotype 2 or 3 infection.
Methods: In this multicenter, double-blind, phase 3 randomized controlled trial, patients were assigned 2:2:1 to receive 24 weeks of Lambda/RBV, 12 weeks of Lambda/RBV + DCV, or 24 weeks of alfa/RBV. The primary outcome measure was sustained virologic response at post-treatment Week 12 (SVR12).
Results: Overall, 874 patients were treated: Lambda/RBV, n = 353; Lambda/RBV + DCV, n = 349; alfa/RBV, n = 172. Patients were 65 % white and 33 % Asian, 57 % male, with a mean age of 47 years; 52 % were infected with genotype 2 (6 % cirrhotic) and 48 % with genotype 3 (9 % cirrhotic). In the Lambda/RBV + DCV group, 83 % (95 % confidence interval [CI] 78.5, 86.5) achieved SVR12 (90 % genotype 2, 75 % genotype 3) whereas SVR12 was achieved by 68 % (95 % CI 63.1, 72.9) with Lambda/RBV (72 % genotype 2, 64 % genotype 3) and 73 % (95 % CI 66.6, 79.9) with peginterferon alfa/RBV (74 % genotype 2, 73 % genotype 3). Lambda/RBV + DCV was associated with lower incidences of flu-like symptoms, hematological abnormalities, and discontinuations due to adverse events compared with alfa/RBV.
Conclusion: The 12-week regimen of Lambda/RBV + DCV was superior to peginterferon alfa/RBV in the combined population of treatment-naive patients with genotype 2 or 3 infection, with an improved tolerability and safety profile compared with alfa/RBV.
Keywords: Genotype 2; Genotype 3; Hepatitis C virus; Peginterferon alfa-2a; Peginterferon lambda-1a.