This is not surprising given that, by definition, prior null responders failed to achieve a ≥2 log10 reduction in HCV RNA by week 12 of previous peginterferon/ribavirin treatment, and therefore two components of the telaprevir triple therapy regimen would not have been fully functional in these patients. Virologic failure
and the emergence of resistance with current telaprevir-based therapy is therefore probably primarily due to an insufficient peginterferon/ribavirin response. Despite this, in the REALIZE trial, telaprevir plus peginterferon/ribavirin still increased SVR rates in prior null responders from Selinexor in vitro 5% (in the control arm) to 29%-33% (across the two telaprevir combination arms).4 However, further improvements for managing prior null responders are warranted and may potentially be achieved in the future by adding another DAA with an alternative mechanism of action to the treatment regimen. With respect to HCV genotype subtype, on-treatment virologic failure was more frequent in telaprevir-treated patients with HCV genotype 1a (24%) versus 1b (12%). There
were also differences between genotypes in the pattern of variants observed upon virologic failure. In Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Library concentration the peginterferon/ribavirin treatment phase (i.e., after telaprevir dosing was ended), virologic failure was associated with higher- or lower-level variants in genotype 1a patients (most frequently V36M and R155K), and lower-level resistant variants or wildtype HCV in genotype 1b patients. Similar data were observed in patients
who received boceprevir-based treatment in Phase 3 trials; resistance-associated variants were detected more frequently and SVR rates were lower in patients with HCV genotype 1a versus 1b.25 These observations with telaprevir and boceprevir might be explained by the higher genetic barrier to resistance with 1b versus 1a subtypes. In genotype 1a isolates, amino acid substitutions at positions 36 (V to M) and 155 (R to K) of the NS3 region require only one nucleotide change.26 Conversely, in genotype 1b isolates, two nucleotide changes are required selleckchem to generate a change at these positions, making these variants less likely to exist in chronically infected patients. Furthermore, the V36M+R155K double-mutant variant that shows higher-level resistance and is commonly found in genotype 1a patients is more fit than the single-mutant, higher-level resistant variants A156T/V that are commonly found in genotype 1b patients. Peginterferon/ribavirin activity may be sufficient to slow or prevent replication of less fit variants, potentially also explaining the differences in rates of virologic failure between the genotypes. During therapy, the phase of treatment in which virologic failure occurred had an impact on the proportion of patients with higher- versus lower-level resistant variants. If during the telaprevir treatment phase, the peginterferon/ribavirin component of the regimen fails to provide sufficient viral inhibition (i.e.