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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Daklinza (daclatasvir) for use with sofosbuvir to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 3 infections. Daklinza is the first drug that has demonstrated safety and efficacy to treat genotype 3 HCV infections without the need for co-administration of interferon or ribavirin, two FDA-approved drugs also used to treat HCV infection.
Hepatitis C is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the liver that can lead to diminished liver function or liver failure. Most people infected with HCV have no symptoms of the disease until liver damage becomes apparent, which may take several years. Some people with chronic HCV infection develop scarring and poor liver function (cirrhosis) over many years, which can lead to complications such as bleeding, jaundice (yellowish eyes or skin), fluid accumulation in the abdomen, infections or liver cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2.7 million Americans are infected with HCV of which, approximately 10 percent are genotype 3.
“Today’s approval provides a new option for patients with genotype 3 HCV, including those patients who cannot tolerate ribavirin,” says Edward Cox, MD, director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
The safety and efficacy of Daklinza in combination with sofosbuvir were evaluated in a clinical trial of 152 treatment-naive and treatment-experienced participants with chronic HCV genotype 3 infection. Participants received Daklinza 60 mg plus sofosbuvir 400 mg once daily for 12 weeks and were monitored for 24 weeks post treatment. The studies were designed to measure whether a participant’s hepatitis C virus was no longer detected in the blood 12 weeks after finishing treatment (sustained virologic response), suggesting a participant’s infection had been cured.
Results showed that 98 percent of the treatment-naive participants with no cirrhosis of the liver and 58 percent of the treatment-naive participants with cirrhosis achieved sustained virologic response. Of the participants who were treatment-experienced, 92 percent with no cirrhosis of the liver and 69 percent with cirrhosis achieved sustained virologic response. Daklinza labeling carries a Limitations of Use statement to inform prescribers that sustained virologic response rates are reduced in HCV genotype 3 infected patients with cirrhosis.
Safety information was available for approximately 1,900 patients with HCV treated with the recommended dose of Daklinza in combination with other anti-HCV drugs in clinical trials. The most common side effects of Daklinza with sofosbuvir were fatigue and headache.
Daklinza carries a warning for patients and healthcare providers that serious slowing of the heart rate (symptomatic bradycardia) and cases requiring pacemaker intervention have been reported when amiodarone is co-administered with sofosbuvir in combination with another HCV direct-acting antiviral, including Daklinza. Co-administration of amiodarone with Daklinza in combination with sofosbuvir is not recommended.
Daklinza was reviewed under the FDA’s priority review program, which provides for an expedited review of drugs that treat serious conditions and, if approved, would provide significant improvement in safety or effectiveness.
Daklinza is marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, based in Princeton, N.J.