Robust antiviral activity of R1626, a novel nucleoside analog: A randomized, placebo-controlled study in patients with chronic hepatitis C


  • Potential conflict of interest: Dr. Roberts is a consultant for, advises, and is on the speakers' bureau of Roche. Dr. Dore advises, is on the speakers' bureau of, and received grants from Roche and Gilead Sciences. He also advises and received grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Washington owns stock in Roche. Dr. Cooksley advises and is on the speakers' bureau of Roche.


The nucleoside analog R1479 is a potent and highly selective inhibitor of nonstructural protein 5B–directed hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication in vitro. R1626, a tri-isobutyl ester prodrug of R1479, was developed to increase bioavailability and improve antiviral activity. A multicenter, observer-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled, multiple ascending dose, phase 1b study was designed to evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics, and antiviral activity and to potentially identify the maximum tolerated dose of R1626 in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Forty-seven treatment-naïve patients infected with HCV genotype 1 were treated with R1626 orally at doses of 500 mg, 1500 mg, 3000 mg, or 4500 mg or placebo twice daily for 14 days with 14 days of follow-up. Safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and antiviral activity were assessed. Doses up to and including 3000 mg twice daily were well tolerated after 14 days of treatment. There was an increase in frequency of adverse events at the highest dose (4500 mg). Reversible mild to moderate hematological changes were observed with increasing doses. R1626 was efficiently converted to R1479, with dose-proportional pharmacokinetics observed over the entire dose range. The pharmacokinetics of R1479 were linear over the dose range evaluated. Dose-dependent and time-dependent reductions in HCV RNA were observed. Mean decreases (median; range) in viral load after 14 days of treatment with doses of 500, 1500, 3000, and 4500 mg were 0.32 (0.22; 0.01-0.71), 1.2 (0.8; 0.49-2.46), 2.6 (2.7; 1.27-3.93) and 3.7 (4.1; 2.15-4.39) log10, respectively. No resistance to R1479 was observed after 14 days of treatment with R1626. Conclusion: These data support further studies of R1626 in combination with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin for the treatment of patients with chronic HCV infection. (HEPATOLOGY 2008.)