The FINANCIAL — Gilead Sciences, Inc. on February 16 announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved additional indications for Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir) for use in chronic hepatitis C patients with advanced liver disease.
Harvoni in combination with ribavirin (RBV) for 12 weeks was approved for use in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1- or 4-infected liver transplant recipients without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A), and for HCV genotype 1-infected patients with decompensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh B or C), including those who have undergone liver transplantation. Harvoni is now approved for use in a broader range of patient populations, including HCV genotypes 1, 4, 5 and 6, HCV/HIV-1 coinfection, HCV genotype 1 and 4 liver transplant recipients, and genotype 1-infected patients with decompensated cirrhosis.
“Hepatitis C-infected patients who have decompensated cirrhosis and those who have previously received a liver transplant have an urgent need for treatment, but historically their options have been limited,” said Norbert Bischofberger, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer at Gilead. “We are pleased that health care providers now have the information needed to offer these patients an all-oral, 12-week duration therapy with high cure rates and a tolerable side effect profile.”
Decompensated Cirrhosis and Post-Liver Transplantation
The supplemental new drug application (sNDA) approval for genotype 1 or 4 HCV liver transplant recipients without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis, and for genotype 1 HCV patients with decompensated cirrhosis, was supported by data from the Phase 2 SOLAR-1 and SOLAR-2 trials. These open-label studies evaluated 12 and 24 weeks of treatment with Harvoni in combination with RBV in HCV treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients with genotype 1 and 4 infection who had undergone liver transplantation and/or who had decompensated liver disease.
SVR12 rates among genotype 4 HCV post-transplant patients without cirrhosis or with compensated cirrhosis (n=12) were similar to the reported genotype 1 SVR12 rates; no subjects relapsed. Available data in subjects with genotype 4 HCV who had decompensated cirrhosis (pre- and post-liver transplantation) were insufficient for dosing recommendations.
A total of seven patients in the 12-week treatment arms of SOLAR-1 and SOLAR-2 had fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis (FCH), and all achieved SVR12. FCH is a rare and severe form of recurrent hepatitis that occurs following liver transplantation and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Previously, there were no approved treatment options for FCH.
Adverse events observed in the two SOLAR studies were consistent with the expected clinical sequelae of liver transplantation and/or decompensated liver disease, or the known safety profile of Harvoni and/or RBV. Among liver transplant and decompensated liver disease patients, 1 percent and 2 percent of patients discontinued Harvoni with RBV due to an adverse event, respectively. The most common adverse reactions (≥10 percent, all grades) observed with treatment with Harvoni in combination with RBV for 12 weeks were asthenia, headache and cough.
Important Safety Information for Harvoni
If Harvoni is used in combination with ribavirin (RBV), all contraindications, warnings and precautions, in particular pregnancy avoidance, and adverse reactions to RBV also apply. Refer to RBV prescribing information.
Warnings and Precautions
Risk of Serious Symptomatic Bradycardia When Coadministered with Amiodarone: Amiodarone is not recommended for use with Harvoni due to the risk of symptomatic bradycardia, particularly in patients also taking beta blockers or with underlying cardiac comorbidities and/or with advanced liver disease. In patients without alternative, viable treatment options, cardiac monitoring is recommended. Patients should seek immediate medical evaluation if they develop signs or symptoms of bradycardia.
Risk of Reduced Therapeutic Effect of Harvoni Due to P-gp Inducers: Rifampin and St. John’s wort are not recommended for use with Harvoni as they may significantly decrease ledipasvir and sofosbuvir plasma concentrations.
Related Products Not Recommended: Harvoni is not recommended for use with other products containing sofosbuvir.
Most common (≥10%, all grades) adverse reactions were fatigue, headache and asthenia.
In addition to rifampin and St. John’s wort, coadministration of Harvoni is also not recommended with carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, rifabutin, rifapentine, and tipranavir/ritonavir. Such coadministration is expected to decrease the concentration of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir, reducing the therapeutic effect of Harvoni.
Coadministration of Harvoni is not recommended with simeprevir due to increased concentrations of ledipasvir and simeprevir. Coadministration is also not recommended with rosuvastatin or co-formulated elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate due to increased concentrations of rosuvastatin and tenofovir, respectively.
Consult the full Prescribing Information for Harvoni for more information on potentially significant drug interactions, including clinical comments.