Nearing Finish Line, HCV Race Focuses On Salvage Therapy
With few remaining unmet needs in hepatitis C, Gilead, Merck and AbbVie are focusing on tough-to-treat niches with their next-gen combination regimens, especially treatment-experienced patients who failed on prior direct-acting antiviral therapy. Merck also is studying injectable drug users in an effort to eradicate HCV entirely.
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Q1 earnings far outpaced expectations due to the successful launch for new hepatitis C drug Mavyret, but with the HCV market overall in decline those gains won't last and won't make up for the looming loss of Humira revenue.
Bringing three-drug, single-tablet regimen to market means Gilead has an answer for every hepatitis C patient, company says. It still lacks an answer, however, for its future business direction as HCV revenue wanes.
Data from EXPEDITION-1 show a 99% SVR rate for HCV patients with compensated cirrhosis after 12 weeks of therapy. AbbVie also will present data at EASL on the utility of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir in CKD, post-liver or kidney transplant, HIV co-infected and treatment-failure patients.