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Human Genome Sciences reports hepatitis drug study

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 4:17am
The Associated Press

Human Genome Sciences Inc. said Wednesday a midstage study of the potential hepatitis C treatment Zalbin showed a monthly dose of the drug candidate could be as effective as a weekly dose of the standard treatment.

The Rockville, Md., company said interim results from the study support evaluation of the monthly dose in a bigger, late-stage trial. The midstage study was conducted by Novartis, which is developing the drug with Human Genome Sciences. It combined the drug with ribavirin in 391 patients with forms of chronic hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is caused by a blood-borne virus that can lead to liver scarring or liver cancer. Current therapy combines the drugs peginterferon and ribavirin.

Human Genome Sciences has submitted an application for Zalbin dosed every two weeks to the Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to make a decision this fall.

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