Gilead hepatitis C drug proves itself in key study

Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:03pm IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

(Reuters) - An experimental hepatitis C drug acquired by Gilead Sciences Inc when it paid nearly $11 billion to buy Pharmasset has produced encouraging results in a closely-watched clinical trial, results of which were released in Barcelona.

The U.S. company said that of 25 patients with genotype 1 hepatitis who completed 12 weeks of treatment with a combination of GS-7977 and the older antiviral ribavirin (RBV), 88 percent still had undetectable levels of virus four weeks after completion of treatment.

Three patients in the study, known as ELECTRON, experienced viral relapse.

A second study, QUANTUM, which contained more difficult to treat patients, produced less impressive results, with 59 percent of patients having undetectable virus levels.

Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst at ISI Group, said the ELECTRON data was better than expected, since most analysts had expected a result around 50 percent, while the QUANTUM result was about in-line with expectations.

The market for treating hepatitis C has burgeoned in the last year with two new breakthrough treatments approved for sale in the United States and the promise of even better medicines in the pipeline, like the Gilead drug GS-7977.

GS-7977 works by blocking an enzyme essential to the replication of the hepatitis C virus. It is one of a new class of treatments designed to be given without interferon, which helps boost the body's immune system but can also cause debilitating, flu-like symptoms.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc's new hepatitis C drug Incivek and Merck & Co's Victrelis both won U.S. approval last year.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Mark Potter)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fighting TB

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Only For Adults

Only For Adults

FDA moves to ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors.  Full Article 

For Diabetics

For Diabetics

Weight loss plan better than usual diet for diabetes patients.  Full Article 

Depends On DNA

Depends On DNA

Aspirin's benefit in preventing colon cancer depends on DNA.  Full Article 

STD Risk

STD Risk

Could shared sex toys transmit HPV?  Full Article 

Marijuana Use

Marijuana Use

France sees small increase in pot-related heart problems.  Full Article 

Internet Effect

Internet Effect

Retirees who use the Internet less likely to be depressed: study.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage