Merck oral hepatitis C regimen shows 95 pct cure rate

(Reuters) - Merck and Co Inc presented trial results on Friday showing that a once-daily combination of two experimental pills cured 95 percent of previously untreated hepatitis C patients after 12 weeks.

The trial included patients infected with the most common form of the liver-destroying virus, genotype 1, along with less common genotypes 4 and 6. It also involved patients with and without liver cirrhosis.

Cure rates, defined as sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment, were 92 percent for patients with genotype 1a; 99 percent for genotype 1b; 100 percent for genotype 4; and 80 percent for genotype 6. Cures were achieved in 97 percent of cirrhotic patients and 94 percent of non-cirrhotic patients.

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