Both drugs Vertex's telaprevir (Thursday) and Merck's boceprevir (Wednesday) will appear for the FDA advisory panel as each tries to get its new drug to treat hepatitis C approved. Analysts expect both companies to succeed. Analysts expect both to be able to reach peak sales of greater than $2 billion annually within a few years.
Which drug is better? Well both seem to be significantly better than the current standard of care. Both drugs offer patients increased cure rates, fewer side effects and shorter treeatment regimes. Treatment specialists can't wait to get both drugs into their repertoir. Telaprevir offers a slightly better safety profile to boceprevir.
Most analysts see Vertex’s drug as best-in-class. There will be a clearer answer to that question after hearing what the FDA staff has to say this week about the drugs in its briefing documents, and in the questions that the FDA panel chooses to raise.
Posted by Bruce Lehr April 25th 2011.