AbbVie is aiming to steal sales from hep C drugs from Gilead and BMS with a new combination offering a shorter, eight-week treatment for the most difficult-to-treat form of the disease.

Results presented at the International Liver Congress (ILC) in Amsterdam showed 95% of genotype 3 patients on its pan-genotypic regimen of glecaprevir+pibrentasvir were free of disease, 12 weeks after completing an eight-week treatment course.

The results were based on a previously untreated, cirrhosis-free, 157-patient arm of the ENDURANCE-3 study.

Another arm of the trial also met its goal, matching the performance of BMS’ Daclinza(daclatasvir) plus Gilead’s Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) over 12 weeks in genotype 3.

The Daclinza and Sovaldi combination is current standard of care for genotype 3 hepatitis, but AbbVie is attempting to produce a more patient-friendly alternative with a shorter regimen.

This follows the general pattern of hep C treatments in recent years, where manufacturers produced cures with more manageable side effects and increasingly short treatment durations.

Genotype 3 is the second most common form of the disease and is more difficult to treat, with Gilead’s newest combination, Epclusa (sofosbuvir+velpatasvir), requiring a 12-week treatment course.

Gilead’s Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) can also be used in genotype 3, but requires a 24-week treatment course with more side effects as it is taken in combination with ribavirin.

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