Merck's Shortened Hep C Regimens Fall Short of Cure-Rate Goal

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Merck's (MRK) initial effort to developer a superior hepatitis C therapy and leapfrog over Gilead Sciences (GILD) has fallen short.

A triple therapy combining two experimental Merck drugs with Gilead's Sovaldi yielded interim hepatitis C cure rates for genotype 1 patients ranging from 80% to 87% following six to eight weeks of treatment. A four-week treatment schedule of the same three-drug regimen resulted in a "sub-optimal" hepatitis C interim cure rate of only 39%, Merck reported Monday from the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) annual meeting.

Gilead's approved combination therapy Harvoni cures 94-99% of hepatitis C genotype 1 patients with eight or 12 weeks of treatment. 


Labels: , , , ,