Friday, November 14, 2014

The Post AASLD Annual Meeting Hepatitis C Landscape

Investment Commentary @ Seeking Alpha

The Post AASLD Annual Meeting Hepatitis C Landscape
Leonard Yaffe

  • Advances in efficacy, treatment duration and side effect elimination continue.
  • Interferon use will largely disappear, and Ribavirin will be reserved primarily for difficult to treat sub-populations.
  • Gilead continues to advance the state of the art, and Merck has a competitive regimen.
Following the AASLD 2014 (American Association for the Study of Liver Disease) Annual Meeting, these are my thoughts regarding Hepatitis C pharmacotherapy:

The goal of pharmacotherapy is a high cure rate and a reduced cost. The extremely high success rates (95% SVR 12) lower costs by decreasing retreatments and complications. Costs are also lessened by shorter treatment time, lower per-unit pricing and the elimination of IFN (interferon) and RBV (ribavirin) from the regimen. In this regard, I expect an increasing move toward 8 week therapy, especially in treatment naïve patients. Furthermore, I believe that IFN use will be virtually eliminated, and RBV use will be dramatically reduced, reserved primarily for hard to treat sub-populations (IFN cost is much more relevant). I cannot comment on per-unit pricing and rebates except that I think AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) will be involved in the latter due to my perception that its regimen is inferior, the extent to which will be determined by the need for RBV.

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