Smartphone Based aDOT Treatment With Fixed-Dose Elbasvir and Grazoprevir in PWIDs

    Not Recruiting
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Inc.
Updated on 22 January 2021
substance use
directly observed therapy
drugs of abuse
sustained viral response


People who Inject Drugs (PWIDs) constitute 60% of the approximately 5 million people in the United States infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Successful HCV treatment leading to sustained viral response (SVR) is associated with increased survival, but to date successful treatment of PWIDs has been limited. Treatment of PWIDs is complex due to addiction, mental illness, poverty, homelessness, lack of positive social support, poor adherence-related skills, low motivation and knowledge, and poor access to and trust in the health care system. At Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the investigators have developed a multidisciplinary model of HCV care that integrates on-site primary care, substance abuse treatment, and HCV-related care within opiate agonist treatment clinics. To optimize HCV treatment outcomes, the investigators have introduced directly observed therapy (DOT). In our DOT model, one daily dose of oral HCV medication is administered with methadone. However, DOT is not feasible for PWIDs who are not enrolled in methadone maintenance treatment programs, and is less effective for methadone-maintained PWIDs who do not attend the methadone clinics every day. In addition, DOT has been used for decades both to measure and maximize adherence for treatment of tuberculosis infection, but the cost and logistical complexity of administering DOT for large HCV clinical programs would be prohibitive.


Automated DOT (a-DOT), a smartphone app that uses facial recognition software and advanced features to detect non-ingestion, combines the accuracy of in-person DOT with the convenience of real-time centralized data collection and monitoring. Adding a daily side effect diary to a-DOT will further allow precise tracking of timing of both medication ingestion and side effects which may be compromising adherence. Zepatier (elbasvir and grazoprevir) is a new once-daily fixe-dose combination tablet which has achieved high rates of SVR ranging from 94 to 97 percent in genotype-1 infected patients including those with HIV/HCV coinfection and renal impairment. Zepatier is administered for 12 to 16 weeks, depending on HCV genotype, prior treatment history, and the presence of certain baseline NS5A polymorphisms (1a only). By administering Zepatier via this innovative a-DOT platform, the investigators hypothesize that PWIDs treated in real-wrold settings can be successfully treated with high rates of adherence and SVR.

In this proposed 18-month trials, 75 PWIDs enrolled in opiate agonist treatment (genotypes 1a and 1b) with chronic HCV will be enrolled over a 12-month period, and randomized to either aDOT or treatment as usual (TAU). The investigators will recruit PWIDs from diverse community settings include a syringe exchange program (NYHRE), federally-qualified health center (Comprehensive Health Care Center), homeless shelter (The Living Room), and a methadone maintenance treatment program (Montefiore Wellness Centers). All patients (inlcuding treatment-experienced and HIVV/HCV coinfected subjects) will be treated with Zepatier-based regimens as per the standard of care. Rigorous data are necessary to judge the contribution of a-DOT to the success of HCV treatment in PWIDs. By performing a randomized trial of a-DOT HCV therapy (Zepatier with and without ribavirin), the investigators will evaluate the efficacy of a-DOT for improving HCV treatment outcomes among PWIDs.

Condition Hepatitis C, Hepatitis C virus, Noncompliance with medication regimen
Treatment Automated Directly Observed Therapy, Control, TAU
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03127358
SponsorAlbert Einstein College of Medicine, Inc.
Last Modified on22 January 2021

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