Veteranclaims’s Blog

May 25, 2010

Hepatitis C Drug, Vertex, Achieves 75% Cure Rate

Full Article at: Vertex hep C drug achieves 75 pct cure rate-study

NEW YORK, May 25 (Reuters) – A closely watched experimental hepatitis C treatment being developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc (VRTX.O) led to a 75 percent cure rate in a pivotal late-stage trial of previously untreated patients, the company said on Tuesday.

The results from the first Phase III study of telaprevir were roughly in line with expectations. Vertex shares, which have slumped recently, rose 14 percent in after-hours trading.

Seventy-five percent of patients who received 12 weeks of telaprevir in combination with current standard treatment of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, followed by either 12 or 36 weeks of standard treatment achieved a sustained virologic response, or SVR, which is tantamount to a cure.

That compared with a 44 percent SVR rate for patients who received the usual 48-week regimen of the standard drugs.

“I think it is a bellwether day for hepatitis C drug development. It’s really impressive to see a 75 percent SVR rate in a Phase 3 pivotal trial,” said Sanford Bernstein analyst Geoffrey Porges.

He said the result “sets a very high hurdle for competitors.” (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; additional reporting by Deena Beasley in Los Angeles; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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