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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Nov;68(5):556-67.

Pegylated interferon-alpha2b: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety, and preliminary efficacy data. Hepatitis C Intervention Therapy Group.

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Schering-Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth, NJ 07033, USA.



The objectives of this study were to assess the safety, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles, and antiviral efficacy of pegylated interferon-alpha2b monotherapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C.


Fifty-eight patients (38 men, 20 women; age range, 25 to 65 years) with compensated chronic hepatitis C were enrolled in this open-label, randomized, active controlled study. Patients received 0.035 to 2.0 microg/kg pegylated interferon-alpha2b subcutaneously weekly or the active control, interferon-alpha2b 3 million IU subcutaneously three times/week, for 24 weeks. Safety and antiviral efficacy assessments were performed during treatment and in a subsequent 4-week follow-up period. Detailed pharmacokinetic assessments were performed at weeks 1 and 4.


Pegylated interferon-alpha2b produced dose-related reductions in white blood cells, neutrophils, and platelets, and dose-related increases in oral temperature, serum neopterin, and serum 2'5'-oligoadenylate synthetase activity, which were qualitatively similar to those produced by nonpegylated interferon-alpha2b. Reported adverse events (flu-like symptoms, asthenia) were qualitatively similar in pegylated interferon-alpha2b- and nonpegylated interferon-alpha2b-treated groups. Dose-related antiviral activity, as measured by loss of detectable serum hepatitis C virus RNA (<100 copies/mL), was noted at the end of treatment and after 4 weeks of follow-up. Both pegylated and nonpegylated interferon-alpha2b were rapidly absorbed, with maximal concentrations occurring approximately 8 to 12 hours after dose administration. Pegylated interferon-alpha2b had sustained maximal serum concentrations for 48 to 72 hours after dose administration, whereas nonpegylated interferon-alpha2b concentrations declined rapidly. Volume of distribution for both compounds was similar (approximately 1 L/kg). Pegylated interferon-alpha2b elimination half-life was approximately 10-fold greater, and mean apparent clearance was one tenth that of nonpegylated interferon-alpha2b.


Pegylated and nonpegylated interferon-alpha2b safety and pharmacodynamic profiles were comparable. Pegylated interferon-alpha2b demonstrated delayed clearance compared with nonpegylated interferon-alpha2b, consistent with once-weekly administration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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