And Merck Keeps Posting Very Impressive Next Gen Hep C Study “Wins” — This Time, In HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients

Once again, overnight, Merck has made headlines in Vienna Austria, at EASL — this time blowing the doors off of its own prior generation successes in treating Hep C patients who also happen to be HIV positive. And that is a not-too-surprisingly common occurrence — that sort of co-infection.

Again — as we said yesterday, AbbVie is steadily grabbing US market share from Gilead, by convincing the payers (and benefit managers like ExpressScripts) to steer patients toward, and effectively choose a less convenient, longer course, at a cheaper all-in price — over the shorter duration, but higher priced offering from Gilead. Both of them will soon likely have to face Kenilworth in the market, too. Prices will head south. That’s a certainty. Here’s a bit:

. . . .Merck today announced the first presentations of data from the company’s ongoing C-EDGE pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial program evaluating the investigational once-daily tablet grazoprevir/elbasvir (100mg/50mg) in patients with or without cirrhosis who are infected with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes 1 4 or 6 (GT1 4 or 6).1 Patients in both the HCV infected treatment-naïve (C-EDGE TN) and HIV/HCV co-infected treatment-naïve (C-EDGE CO-INFXN) trials treated for 12 weeks achieved rates of sustained virologic response 12 weeks after the completion of treatment (SVR12) of 95 percent (299/316 and 207/218 respectively). In addition HCV infected treatment-experienced patients (C-EDGE TE) treated with or without ribavirin (RBV) for 12 weeks achieved SVR12 rates of 94 percent (98/104) and 92 percent (97/105) respectively and those treated for 16 weeks achieved SVR12 rates of 97 percent (103/106) and 92 percent (97/105) respectively. These data were presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2015 – the 50th annual congress of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (Abstract #G07 E-Poster P0886 and E-Poster P0887). A paper detailing the findings of C-EDGE TN was published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine today. . . .

So have a great Friday — and watch Merck tear it up, here. . . a lil’ late to the party, but posting entirely stellar results.

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