In 2007, sofosbuvir was discovered by a physician and medical researcher, Michael Sofia, that was employed at Veterans Administration Medical Center and simultaneously at Pharmasset. Gilead Sciences purchased the patent from Pharmasset for a whopping $11 billion.
How does Sofosbuvir work?
The chemical name of sofosbuvir is L-Alanine, N-[[P(S),2′R]-2′-deoxy-2′-fluoro-2′-methyl-P-phenyl-5′-uridylyl]-, 1-methylethyl ester and a molecular formula of C22H29FN3O9P. Previously known as PS-7977 or GS-7977.
Sofosbuvir is in the nucleotide analog family that is a highly potent inhibitor of the NS5B polymerase (protein) in HCV.
Previously hepatitis C virus was treated with peg-interferon alpha which was not well tolerated for hep c patients. Many patients said it very similar to chemotherapy, we know how exhausting that can be.
Today, this has been efficacious with several other drugs and peg-interferon. Due to low side effects, high resistance to hepatitis C and oral administration has made it of special interest.
One dose of 400mg of sofosbuvir has shown tremendous results to treat hepatitis C in various genotypes.
After successful clinical trials, it was approved in 2013 in the United States to treat hepatitis C. The caveat of this innovative treatment is it can reactivate hepatitis B in co-infected patients of HCV and HCB.
Common side effects of Sofosbuvir:
- Fatigue – feeling tired
- Insomnia – trouble sleeping
Sovaldi is the blockbuster drug that is made of sofosbuvir 400mg, manufactured and marketed by Gilead Sciences.
Sovaldi is once a day tablet that is taken for 12 weeks or 84 days to treat genotypes 1, 2, 3 or 4. Sometimes it maybe required to be taken with ribavirin and interferon treatment.
Please consult with your physician which treatment approach is best for you.
Gilead also manufactures Harvoni and Epclusa, both are based of sofosbuvir molecule. The price for Harvoni is $94,000 for 12 week course and Epclusa is $76,000 for a twelve week course.
Each drug is used for various gentoypes 1 through 6 to effectively treat hepatitis C.
After completing your treatment you will be asked to take another hepatitis C test to determine what your sustained virologic response or SVR is.
Some patients will take the SVR after 12 weeks and 24 weeks of treatment.
The nomenclature for SVR12 means you have a sustained virologic response after 12 weeks, no HCV response in the blood test.
Same goes for SVR24, but its 24 weeks after you have finished the treatment. Some patients do continue to check the SVR even after 2 years.
There are cases of relapse that is usually due to reinfection or treatment was not effective.
Sofosbuvir 400mg – Key Ingredient
Harvoni has ledipasvir 90mg and sofosbuvir 400mg, while Epclusa contains velpatasvir 100mg and sofosbuvir 400mg.
Sofosbuvir has been a game changer in the treatment of hepatitis C. For the first time in history we have a treatment for hepatitis C with very high cure rates.
Previously hepatitis C patients would be exhausted from only peg-alpha interferon and ribavirin therapy, only treatment available at the time.
Thanks to Michael Sofia, Veterans Administration and Pharmasset we as a society have access to treat a very challenging infectious disease, hepatitis C.
Although the invention of sofosbuvir has been a major breakthrough in the fight against hepatitis C, the costs are just not affordable or justifiable.
Approximately 3 million Americans live with hepatitis C. Around the world 300 million hep C patients need the cure. WHO organization has placed sofosbuvir on the World’s Essential Medicine List.
Some turn to a liver friendly healthy diet to manage the hepatitis C from compensating their liver.
The fact remains sofosbuvir is expensive in the US, UK, Europe and developed countries in Asia, but in India its around $1000.
To address your hepatitis C and be free of this highly contagious and deadly virus, act now and start treatment today.