BOSTON (TheStreet) --
(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: 4-week, AASLD 2014, GT1, Merck, shortened treatment