Friday, April 20, 2012

Collaboration on Hepatitis Drugs Lags

Collaboration on Hepatitis Drugs Lags
Published: April 19, 2012
New York Times

A combination of two pills proved extremely effective in treating hepatitis C in a small trial, raising hopes among researchers that the disease will be curable without an injected drug that has debilitating side effects.
But the combination might not find its way to the market because one pill is owned by Gilead Sciences and the other by Bristol-Myers Squibb. The companies have not agreed to collaborate, to the chagrin of some doctors.
“The only appropriate motivation should be what is the best and fastest way to get cures, not what is best for the shareholders,” said Dr. Scott Friedman, chief of liver diseases at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who was not involved in the trial.
Dr. Douglas J. Manion, a senior vice president for Bristol-Myers, said his company was “keen” on working with Gilead but that “thus far, they have been unwilling to engage in that collaboration.”       
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