The Children’s National Hepatology Program, led by Parvathi Mohan, M.D., is one of a few such centers on the East Coast of the U.S. and one of about 30 Hepatology programs throughout the U.S. and Europe, participating in clinical trials offering regimens using the direct acting antiviral agent sofosbuvir to treat children and adolescents with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Sofosbuvir-based treatments have been approved for adults with chronic HCV infection and proven to be highly successful in viral clearance close to 95 percent with minimal side effects, but they are not yet FDA approved for use in pediatrics.
Current HCV therapies available for children use pegylated-interferon and weight-based ribavirin but are unsatisfactory with only about 50 percent viral clearance in subjects with genotype 1, which is the most prevalent in the country. Most children treated with these therapies experience adverse events such as influenza-like illness, headache and a more concerning effect on growth and development.
Children’s is actively participating in several clinical trials to treat HCV with the ultimate goal of eradicating the virus, and these current trials with sofosbuvir are accepting children and adolescents ages 3-17 infected with all genotypes of the virus.