Xconomy reports that Vertex has again scored big in the latest test of its hepatitis C drug, telaprevir. In its latest trial, Realize, with a combination of standard treatment and its new drug -- two-thirds of the patients were cured. These patients had previously failed to respond to a prior round of standard therapy.
That made Vertex's cure rate of 65% nearly four times that of the comparison group at 17%. WOW. No telaprevir has perfomed very well in three straight studies. There are an estimated 6 million people in the US and Europe with chronic hepatitis C infection - and more than 10% have failed in standard therapy. Analysts estimate that telaprevir could be a annual $2.6 B seller by 2013.
Vertex will now seek approval for telaprevir with the FDA. It is also now set up to compete favorably against Merck's boceprevir - a similar classed protease inhibitor. Merck's drug has also experienced good results in phase III trials. The game will soon be on to see which wins with the prescribers and patients (and these days payers).
Posted by Bruce Lehr September 7th 2010.