About Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). For some people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for 55%–85% of people who become infected with the virus it becomes a long-term, chronic infection.1 An estimated 2.4 million people in the United States are living with HCV infection.2 Globally, it is estimated that 58 million people have chronic HCV infection, with approximately 1.5 million new infections occurring per year.3 Chronic HCV infection can result in serious, even life-threatening medical issues like cirrhosis and liver cancer. Many people might not be aware of their infection because they are not symptomatic. However, when symptoms do occur, they can be a sign of advanced liver disease. Currently, there are no effective vaccines against HCV, but antiviral treatment can cure more than 95% of persons with the infection.3
HCV is transmitted through contact with infected blood, and the majority of HCV infections in the U.S. now occur through injection drug use.4 In 2019, the highest rates of HCV occurred in persons 20–39 years, consistent with age groups most impacted by the nation’s opioid crisis.1
In April 2020, the United States Centers for Disease Control issued new recommendations calling for universal HCV screening for adults. According to the CDC, all individuals 18 years of age and older should be tested for HCV at least once in their lifetime and pregnant women should be tested once during each pregnancy.5
For 55%–85% of people who become infected with the virus it becomes a long-term, chronic infection.
An estimated 2.4 million people in the United States are living with HCV infection.
Enanta’s Role in Curing Hundreds of Thousands of People with HCV
Enanta discovered glecaprevir, the second of two protease inhibitors discovered and developed through its collaboration with AbbVie for the treatment of chronic HCV infection. Glecaprevir is co-formulated as part of AbbVie’s leading brand of direct-acting antiviral, or DAA, combination treatment for HCV, which is marketed under the tradenames MAVYRET® (U.S.) and MAVIRET® (ex-U.S.) (glecaprevir/pibrentasvir). Through a collaboration with AbbVie, an earlier protease inhibitor, paritaprevir, was also approved in fixed-dose combinations with other direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of selected genotypes of HCV under the trade names VIEKIRA PAK® (U.S.) and VIEKIRAX (ex-U.S.). Between the two treatments, hundreds of thousands of people with HCV have been cured. AbbVie is responsible for all worldwide marketing and sales of the collaboration’s HCV treatment regimens, which now consist primarily of MAVYRET®/MAVIRET®.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Viral Hepatitis Surveillance Report 2019
- Hofmeister MG, Rosenthal EM, Barker LK, et al. Estimating Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the United States, 2013-2016. Hepatology. 2019;69(3):1020-1031. doi:10.1002/hep.30297
- World Health Organization: Hepatitis C Fact Sheet
- Zibbell JE, Asher AK, Patel RC, et al. Increases in Acute Hepatitis C Virus Infection Related to a Growing Opioid Epidemic and Associated Injection Drug Use, United States, 2004 to 2014. Am J Public Health. 2018;108(2):175-181. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.304132
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Recommendations for Hepatitis C Screening Among Adults — United States, 2020