Nitazoxanide Plus Ribavirin and Peginterferon for Therapy of Treatment Naive HCV Genotype 1 and HIV Coinfected Subjects

2014-09-17 14:08:23 | BioPortfolio


Infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cause liver scarring, or cirrhosis, and this usually occurs more rapidly among people infected with both HCV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). People infected with both HCV and HIV have poor response to the current HCV treatments. This phase II pilot study evaluated whether adding a new HCV medication improves response to the current standard HCV treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in people with both HCV and HIV.


Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a significant cause of liver scarring, or cirrhosis, and accounts for up to 30% of all liver transplants in the United States. People infected with HIV are at a high risk of coinfection with HCV, and the combination of these two infections appears to accelerate progression to cirrhosis. Current treatment for HCV infection includes a 48-week course of two medications taken together, peginterferon alfa-2a (PEG) and ribavirin (RBV). This combination is only effective in 14% to 29% of people infected with both HIV and HCV genotype 1 (the genotype most common in the United States). Further complicating treatment, antiretrovirals (which are used to treat HIV) and HCV medications can often have high toxicity when taken together, limiting dosing.

Nitazoxanide (NTZ) is a medication currently approved to treat intestinal infections that is being investigated for use in treating HCV. NTZ has few side effects and has been shown to increase effectiveness of HCV treatment when combined with PEG and RBV among HCV monoinfected people. This study will test whether adding NTZ to PEG+RBV regimen for people coinfected with HCV and HIV improves HCV treatment outcomes.

Participation in this study will last up to 76 weeks. At study entry, participants completed a brief physical exam, provided a urine sample for a routine safety test, provided a blood sample, and completed a pregnancy test. Participants then initiated NTZ, which they took twice a day with food for up to a year. After 4 weeks on NTZ, participants completed the second study visit, at which they completed the same assessments as at study entry and were asked about the medications they were taking. At this visit, participants initiated the other two study drugs, PEG and RBV. PEG was delivered via injection weekly and RBV was taken orally twice a day with dose dependent on participant's weight at entry.

Participants took NTZ, PEG and RBV together for up to 48 weeks. During this time, participants completed study visits every 4 weeks until Week 52 and then completed follow-up visits at Weeks 64 and 76. At these visits, participants completed the same assessments as at previous visits, and, at certain weeks, also fasted for 8 hours before blood draw. Additional blood samples were collected and stored at Weeks 4, 8, 16, 52 and 76 in order to do future testing.

Participants who did not achieve an early virologic response to the study treatment (at least a 2-log10 decrease in HCV viral load or undetectable HCV viral load at Week 16), or had detectable HCV viral load at Week 28), stopped study treatment and discontinued study early, at about 20 or 32 weeks, respectively.

Study Design

Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


HIV Infection


Nitazoxanide (NTZ), Pegylated interferon alfa-2a (PEG), Ribavirin (RBV)


Alabama Therapeutics CRS
United States




National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-09-17T14:08:23-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A recombinant alfa interferon consisting of 165 amino acids with arginine at positions 23 and 34. It is used extensively as an antiviral and antineoplastic agent.

A recombinant alfa interferon consisting of 165 amino acids with lysine at position 23 and histidine at position 34. It is used extensively as an antiviral and antineoplastic agent.

A recombinant alfa interferon consisting of 165 amino acid residues with arginine in position 23 and histidine in position 34. It is used extensively as an antiviral and antineoplastic agent.

Interferon secreted by leukocytes, fibroblasts, or lymphoblasts in response to viruses or interferon inducers other than mitogens, antigens, or allo-antigens. They include alpha- and beta-interferons (INTERFERON-ALPHA and INTERFERON-BETA).

An interferon regulatory factor that is expressed constitutively and undergoes POST-TRANSLATIONAL MODIFICATION following viral infection. PHOSPHORYLATION of IRF-3 causes the protein to be translocated from the CYTOPLASM to CELL NUCLEUS where it binds DNA, and activates transcription.

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