BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Shortened duration therapy for acute and recent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been shown to be highly effective in several small non-randomised studies with direct-acting antiviral regimens, however large randomised studies are lacking. METHODS: REACT was an NIH-funded multicentre international, open-label, randomised, phase 4 non-inferiority trial examining the efficacy of short course (6 weeks) versus standard course (12 weeks) therapy with sofosbuvir-velpatasvir for recent HCV infection (estimated duration of infection <= 12 months). Randomisation occurred at week 6. The primary endpoint was SVR12 in the intention-to treat (ITT) population. A total of 250 participants were planned for enrolment. On advice of the data safety and monitoring board the study was halted early. RESULTS: Primary analysis population consisted of 188 randomised participants at termination of study enrolment; short arm (n=93), standard arm (n=95). Ninety seven percent were male and 69% HIV positive. ITT SVR12 was 76/93, 81.7% (95% CI 72.4-89.0) in the short arm and 86/95, 90.5% (95% CI 82.7-95.6) in the standard arm. The difference between the arms was -8.8 (95% CI: -18.6, 1.0). By modified ITT analysis in which non-virological reasons for failure were excluded (death, reinfection, lost to follow-up) SVR12 was 76/85, 89.4% (95% CI 80.8-95.0) in the short arm and 86/88, 97.7% in the standard arm (95% CI 92.0-99.7; difference -8.3%, p=0.025). CONCLUSIONS: In this randomised study in recent HCV infection, 6 weeks sofosbuvir-velpatasvir did not meet the criteria for non-inferiority to standard 12 weeks duration. LAY SUMMARY: In this randomised trial one hundred and eighty people with recently acquired hepatitis C infection were randomly assigned to treatment using either a short 6-week course (93 people) or standard 12-week course (95 people) of the hepatitis C treatment sofosbuvir/velpatasvir. There were nine cases of relapse after treatment in the short course and two using the standard course. A shortened course of 6 weeks therapy for hepatitis C infection was considered not as effective as a standard twelve week course in people with recently acquired hepatitis C infection. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02625909.
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