These Are “New Days”, Indeed: Merck And Gilead Are Throwing In, Together — On “Long Haul” HIV Therapies…

Throughout about seven years of this blog’s life, we detailed (in hundreds of posts) the tens of billions of dollars at stake, in the toe-to-toe battles for Hep C primacy, between Gilead and Merck. It was both for market supremacy, and patent rights / priorities. The two were (as regular readers recall) literally at each others’ throats, on may fronts — each accusing the legal team of the other, of misconduct (and sometimes, worse).

Now though, the two leaders in HIV therapies will jointly address HIV therapeutic suites, aimed at long term HIV positive people. That is a wise allocation of the scarce resources of time and talent needed to apprach this increasingly well-managed disease state. Here’s the WSJ on it all:

. . .Rivals Gilead Sciences Inc. and Merck & Co. are joining forces to develop a long-acting HIV therapy, the next frontier in treating the disease.

The big drugmakers said Monday they had agreed to explore whether a combination of two experimental drugs, which the companies had been researching separately, could treat HIV even if taken every several months.

Patients and investors have been closely watching the development of the two cutting-edge HIV agents, Gilead’s lenacapavir and Merck’s Islatravir.

The pairing, if proven successful in testing could further HIV treatment’s shift into a new phase that doctors hope will reduce the number of patients with detectable disease while limiting new cases. . . .

We are pleased by this — and we do not read it at all as either of them were concerned that their disparate approaches would fail, so much as an acknowledgment that if they work together (and the clinical trials prove effectiveness), there will be plenty of revenue to share. Obviously, with all of the documents very carefully drawn, so that they are not acting in an unlawful anti-competitive way — under the prohibitions of the the Sherman and Clayton Acts.

Onward, smiling — with snow due in here, again in a few hours. . . possibly quite heavy snow, with big wheeling flakes, through dawn tomorrow. We shall see. . . I do love these Spring snows. . . the air smells so. . . clean, ahead of them. I am missing you something fierce this morning, truth told. Muah. . . .


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