The Zydus Group has launched a breakthrough oral therapy, 'SoviHep' which will provides succour to more than 10 million patients who suffer from hepatitis C in India. The therapy will be marked by the specialty division of the group, Zydus Hepatiza.
Zydus and Gilead Sciences, had signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement which will allow the manufacture of sofosbuvir and the fixed-dose combination of ledipasvir/sofosbuvir for distribution in 91 countries including India
Pankaj R Patel, chairman and managing director of the Zydus group, says, “Innovations in healthcare have made it possible to deliver better therapy outcomes and improve quality of lives. We are happy to partner with Gilead Sciences to make this breakthrough therapy accessible to patients of hepatitis C in India. It bridges a longstanding unmet healthcare need. It also underlines our mission of providing access to new, affordable therapies and we stand committed to this.
Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It spreads primarily through blood-to-blood contact associated with poorly sterilized medical equipment, and transfusions. An estimated 150-200 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C.
The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and cirrhosis. Some patients may also develop live failure, liver cancer, or life threatening complications. Those who develop cirrhosis or liver cancer may require a liver transplant. Hepatitis C is the leading reason for liver transplantation, though the virus usually recurs after transplantation.
For over a decade in India, the disease has been treated with PEG-IFN along with Ribavirin. However, the management of the disease has been a challenge with less than 1 per cent of 10 million hepatitis C patients having access to treatment. The problem is further compounded by the fact that patients remain undiagnosed till the late stage and ill afford the treatment.
The launch of SoviHep is expected to improve the situation as it takes care of all current treatment needs of PAN-genotypic activity, with barrier to resistance, potent with convenience and compliance therapy. The current Hepatitis Genotype prevalence landscape in India is Genotype 3: 64 per cent; Genotype 1: 26 per cent and Genotype 4 and 6: 10 per cent.
SoviHep is an effective therapy for all the above Genotypes. Additionally, SoviHep can also be used in combination with ribavirin (RibaHep) for treatment of chronic Hepatitis C patients with hepatocellular carcinoma awaiting liver liver transplantation for up to 48 weeks or until liver transplantation to prevent post transplant HCV infection.