Thursday, October 15, 2009

Schering-Plough Highlights Boceprevir for AASLD on November 1 -- But Vertex's Telaprevir is STILL "Way Ahead"

Schering-Plough is pushing a press release this morning, about a pair of presentations its clinical trials group intends to talk-up, in Boston, at the November 1 AASLD conference.

What is missing from the press release is the fact that while neither drug has been approved by the FDA, Vertex's telaprevir is still clearly the better experimental next generation option for Hep C patients who've failed earlier courses of treatment, thus (from backgrounder postings, here):

. . . .The. . . data come from Vertex's PROVE 3 study, which enrolled 453 patients who had failed prior treatment with the current standard drug regimen for hepatitis C -- a 48-week course of long-acting interferon plus ribavirin. In the phase II study, these patients were randomized to receive either treatment with a combination of telaprevir plus the standard therapy or retreatment with the standard therapy alone.

In all, 51% of patients treated with a 24-week regimen that included 12 weeks of telaprevir reported undetectable levels of the hepatitis C virus six months after treatment. In hepatitis C parlance, that's known as a sustained virologic response, or SVR. Simply stated, these patients are considered cured of hepatitis C.

By comparison, only 14% of the patients retreated with 48 weeks of standard therapy alone achieved an SVR, or cure, six months after treatment. . . .


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