UBS Analysis: Merck, AbbVie Next Gen Hep C Candidates (Due in 2016) Not Likely A Big Threat To Gilead’s Franchises

So sorry. Oh my. I’ve been busy elsewhere in the world, so forgive the delay in postings. . . with a little luck, I’ll be back on track after Friday.

UBS analysts are being quoted in a Forbes blog — from the floor of the AASLD, just wrapping — but do go read it all:

. . . .Based on the C-CREST eight week data, we think Merck has to go to tweleve weeks to get to high SVR’s across genotypes. We see the (Merck) Graz/Elba doublet as less of a threat considering expert questions on persistent ALT elevations, and poor performance in patients with baseline RAVs. AbbVie’s next-gen looks good thus far, albeit in easier patients. In contrast, Gilead’s ASTRAL dataset was a shock-and-awe campaign with very high SVR’s across all six genotypes, including decompensated cirrhotics. This sets a much higher bar for next-gen regimens, which at some point may need to show non-inferiority to gain FDA approvals (as seen in HIV). . . .

Seamus Fernandez at Leerink Swann sees Merck with a shot at being No. 2 in the next gen Hep C space — taking the seat now held (current gen) by AbbVie — for what that is worth. So — now you know! Onward, on a busy working week. Be excellent to one another. . . .

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