No. 4 Innovation: A Breakthrough for Hepatitis C (Video)

Better treatment in less time

Hepatitis C drugs

Cleveland Clinic asked more than 100 of its top experts about the innovations set to reshape healthcare in the coming year. These are their answers — the Top 10 Innovations for 2014.

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

For the 4 million people in the United States with a hepatitis C infection, treatment options have improved greatly in the past three years.

Until 2011, there were no proven medicines for patients who didn’t respond to traditional therapy for this liver disease. That year, two new drugs— telaprevir and boceprevir—made Cleveland Clinic’s top 10 innovations list and changed the prospects for patients in need. This year, yet another promising option makes the list: sofosbuvir, the first all-oral hepatitis C treatment.

Shorter, safer and easier to tolerate

Sofosbuvir is moving through the final stages of FDA approval. Its promise includes the highest cure rates ever, reduced treatment time and fewer side effects.

Advertising Policy

Its promise includes the highest cure rates ever, reduced treatment time and fewer side effects.

This medication would be the first of a new generation of hepatitis C drugs called direct-acting antivirals (DAA). DAAs can improve what for many has been a very difficult treatment regimen — one that can take up to 48 weeks and requires injections of interferon, a drug that is difficult to tolerate.

More important, DAAs can improve treatment response rates to 90 percent or higher. Sofosbuvir — and other DAAs in the pipeline — also are more tolerable and safer.

Even better, they reduce the treatment length to 12 weeks.

Advertising Policy