Tuesday, February 14, 2012

IDX-184-Idenix CEO on Hep C Drug Study - CNBC

Source - Idenix CEO on Hep C Drug Study - CNBC
Insight on the FDA clearing Idenix to resume study of its advanced experimental hepatitis C drug, with Ronald Renaud, Idenix president/CEO.

Earlier this month fda regulators lifted a clinical hold on a hepatitis c drug trial by idenix, joining us from the biogenics conference, is the ceo, this is a crowded area for hep c, there are cocktails that work and there are also issues like we've seen with so many of the viral diseases where the drugs stop working unless there's a combination. is that what this drug that you're talking about would do, it would fill maybe the void in a drug cocktail for hepatitis c?

Good morning, joe, thanks for having us on this morning. it's a very exciting time for us and even more exciting time for patients with hepatitis c, and I think it's a lot like you've chronicled over the years in the hiv setting, where we've seen a number of experimental medicines emerge early on that came over single therapies but over time the industry figured out to combine the medicines together and come up with an optimal okay tail in the hiv setting.

Fortunately we think it will happen here, and the difference between hepatitis c and hiv, we think we can treat hep c. and the possible cocktail with gilad and two drugs with 100% efficacy, if gilead, plus rib ribovarin, if you use those two, your drug is superfluous.

We don't believe that. it's a combination of two drugs, we believe we can combine idx-184 with another potent anti-viral and get the same kind of efficacy. This is going to be a combination game. So, we're looking right now to partner our compound with our experimental medicine with another potent experimental medicine that we believe will give us as much of a chance to be competitive with what we're seeing out there. the other thing that is important to point out hepatitis c is a heterogenous disease, within the disease there are 6 to 12 different subtypes and what we're seeing out there doesn't necessarily treat all of the subtypes, so what we're really looking forward to with idx-184 is coming out of the gate with a combination therapy that can address as many patients as possible.

I'm going to jump in here, ron, and to joe's point a moment ago about it being a very crowded area and there is a lot of competition, do you have any other high-flying drugs out there, you know, things that are going to diversify your revenue base?

We believe so. we're roughly 100 employee, more than three-quarter of our employees are scientists, and the singular focus is only on hepatitis c, so we have two compounds or experimental medicines, izx-184 in late stage clinical testing and we have a new program entered this year idx-179 which is a different compound that we're very excited about and we have two earlier stage preclinical experimental medicines that we're looking forward to bring to clinic later this year, a singular focus on hepatitis c, we believe we have the largest effort as a standalone in the hepatitis c arena.

Ron, can you speak, about all the speculation around your company, given all the deals we've seen over the past year in this space, are you for sale, or are you buying?

Well, as a policy, we don't comment on m & a activity, I think what you're seeing out there is an urgency to consolidate a lot of very important experimental medicines and, again, get to the combination approach. you have all covered this space for quite a long time. you know that m&a is very much a part of the biotech fabric, you know, we watch it, we keep a close eye on what's going on around us, but around us, but we come to work focused on advancing outside lines forward and try not to be distracted by everything that's going on around us.

Sounds like I should see him in the headlines.

It certainly does, yes. it's not what they say, it's what they don't say quite often. right.

Ron, we appreciate your time this morning, thank you. good luck. thanks for having me. thank you. appreciate it very much.


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