Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login



Novel drug could eliminate hepatitis C in 15 years

Daclatasvir is estimated to cure chronic hepatitis C infection in up to 99% of cases when used in combination with other drugs.

Electron micrograph of hepatitis C virus

Source: © Phototake Inc. / Alamy

Hepatitis C virus infections, usually spread by contact with infected blood, are associated with chronic liver disease and primary liver cancer

A treatment estimated to cure chronic hepatitis C infection in up to 99% of cases when used in combination with other drugs has been launched in the UK.

Described as “an important step forward towards the holy grail of highly effective, short, tolerable and interferon-free therapy”, daclatasvir is the third new treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) to be launched in 2014, following sofosbuvir and simprevir.

“This is the first in its class and is therefore a potent and needed weapon in an armoury that is improving all the time and presents an opportunity to eliminate hepatitis C within no more than 15 years,” Charles Gore, chief executive of the charity, the Hepatitis C Trust, said.

Daclatasvir is licensed for the treatment of HCV in combination with other medicines. When used with sofosbuvir, a sustained virologic response was achieved in 99% of patients with genotype 1 HCV, 96% in patients with genotype 2 HCV and 89% in patients with genotype 3 HCV, according to the product information. Sustained virologic response is used as a measure of cure.

The medicine is also licensed for the treatment of genotype 4 HCV. Used in combination with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa, daclatasvir had shown cure rates of up to 100% for genotype 4 infections, according to the summary of product characteristics. In the UK, the most common HCV genotypes are 1 and 3.

Daclatasvir is an inhibitor of the non-structural protein 5a (NS35a) — an essential component of the HCV replication complex. When it is used in combination with other medicines, it is able to inhibit viral replication in infected host cells and can also eliminate the virus entirely, effectively curing the patient of infection.

Used with sofosbuvir, daclatasvir has been successful in trials and is being used in England in an early access programme for patients who cannot wait for NICE’s decision because they have less than a year’s life expectancy, explains Gore.

Side effects associated with daclatasvir include fatigue, headache and nausea, but no severe or life threatening adverse events have been linked to the treatment.

Daclatasvir is marketed as Daklinza by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Panel: Product details

Mechanism of action: Inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus non-structural protein 5a

Dose: One 60mg tablet once daily, with or without food, taken concomitantly with other medicines for hepatitis C.

Legal category: POM

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066367

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Drugs of Abuse

    Drugs of Abuse

    A concise, easy-to-read guide for healthcare professionals who encounter drug abuse.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Adverse Drug Reactions

    Adverse Drug Reactions

    A practical guide to the drug reactions that affect particular organ systems, and the management of these reactions.

    £38.00Buy now
  • English Delftware Drug Jars

    English Delftware Drug Jars

    This beautiful book illustrates the art and history of the collection of English delftware drug jars in the Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

    £54.00Buy now
  • Complete Guide to Medical Writing (The)

    Complete Guide to Medical Writing (The)

    Effectively communicate scientific and medical information with The Complete Guide to Medical Writing.

    £27.00Buy now
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.