Four Leading Experts to Interpret the “Kain Protocol” at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Chinese Medical Association of Liver Diseases and Infectious Diseases

On October 5, three scientists, Harvey Ault, Michael Horton and Charles M. Rice, were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their outstanding contributions to the “discovery of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In addition, hepatitis C patients in China have a “Chinese solution” to hepatitis C: a home-made drug that costs less than imported drugs and can turn the virus negative within three months of oral administration.

This is the first home-made pan-genotypic, all-oral hepatitis C treatment, the “Kaine Solution,” which was recently unveiled at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Chinese Medical Association of Hepatology and the National Infectious Diseases Conference of the Chinese Medical Association.

Viral hepatitis C (HCV) is also known as the “silent killer” because it starts insidiously, often without any symptoms, and is easily overlooked by patients, resulting in a much higher risk of progression to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

According to the World Health Organization, the global HCV infection rate is about 3%, or about 180 million people are infected. In China, there are about 10 million people infected with the hepatitis C virus, and about 200,000 new cases are reported every year, with more patients at the grassroots level.

In 2019, the antiviral treatment rate for hepatitis C in China was only 1.3 percent, according to data from 2019. In addition to patients’ lack of awareness of the disease and lack of willingness to treat, the poor diagnostic capacity of hospitals and doctors, inadequate follow-up mechanisms, and lack of access to direct oral antivirals (DAAs) for hepatitis C are also important factors.

The treatment of pre-existing chronic hepatitis C requires the selection of treatment options based on HCV genotype. In recent years, hepatitis C antiviral therapy has entered the era of pan-genotypic regimens, which do not require HCV genotype testing and are preferred over interferon-free pan-genotypic regimens as recommended by national and international guidelines.

The “Kaine Solution” launched by Beijing Kaine, the combination of China’s new Class 1 drug, cotrimoxazole hydrochloride capsules (Kalevac®), and the first sofosbuvir tablets (Sepovir®) in China, has broken the monopoly on the import of DAA drugs with pan-genotypes for Hepatitis C. The treatment of Hepatitis C patients using this solution is only available to patients who have not been tested for HCV. The SVR12 (sustained virological response at the completion of 12 weeks of treatment) for hepatitis C patients is 97% with this regimen requiring only 3 months of oral medication.

In addition, the company’s products are also available in a variety of markets, including the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China. Previously, the efficacy of various drugs for genotype 3 patients was not very satisfactory. “This result is very encouraging, pending the domestic original new drug can play an important irreplaceable role in the battle to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030.”

The company’s newest product, the “Cain Solution”, will make up for the shortage of existing drugs and effectively reduce the price of drugs, reducing the burden on the country’s health insurance system and making them available to more patients.