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Results from Phase 2 PEARL-I study in genotype 4 chronic hepatitis C patients

AbbVie has announced detailed results from its open-label Phase 2b study, PEARL-I, which demonstrated that 100 percent of 4 (GT4) patients who were new to therapy (n=42/42) or who had failed previous treatment with pegylated interferon (pegIFN) and (n=49/49) achieved sustained virologic response rates at 12 weeks post-treatment (SVR12) after taking AbbVie’s with ribavirin (RBV). Additionally, 90.9 percent of patients who were new to therapy achieved SVR12 (n=40/44) after taking the treatment without RBV. These data will be presented during a poster session at The Liver Meeting® 2014.

“As many as 34 million people around the world are living with genotype 4 chronic hepatitis C, a population that is common in the Middle East and Africa, where it accounts for more than 80 percent of all hepatitis C cases,[i]” said Barry Bernstein, M.D., vice president, infectious disease development, AbbVie. “The data from PEARL-I represent another important step forward in realizing our commitment to advancing scientific knowledge in hepatitis C with the ultimate goal of providing treatment options to as many patients as possible.”

PEARL-I studied AbbVie’s all-oral, interferon-free investigational treatment combining two direct-acting antivirals (ABT-450/ritonavir and ombitasvir) with and without RBV for 12 weeks in non-cirrhotic adult patients with chronic genotype 1b (GT1b) and GT4 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

There were no discontinuations due to adverse events in PEARL-I. The most commonly reported treatment-emergent adverse events (greater than 15 percent in any group) were headache (29-33 percent), asthenia (weakness) (24-33 percent), fatigue (7-18 percent), nausea (9-17 percent) and insomnia (5-16 percent). One patient had a grade 3 liver function test elevation (AST> five times the upper limit of normal), which was asymptomatic and resolved during continued dosing. Four patients with hemoglobin decreases (anemia) required RBV dose reductions; however, none of these patients required blood transfusions or medication to boost their red blood cell production. In the treatment-naïve group without RBV, on-treatment virologic breakthrough was reported in one patient (2 percent) and two patients (5 percent) experienced post-treatment relapse. There were no virologic failures in the other treatment arms.


[i] Khattab MA, et al. Management of hepatitis C virus genotype 4: Recommendations of an International Expert Panel. J Hepatol. 2011; 54: 1250-1262

Source: AbbVie