When it comes to virus inhibition, Johnson & Johnson
The duo plan to run a phase 2 trial combining the companies' experimental drug candidates: PSI-7977 from Pharmasset and TMC435 from Johnson & Johnson. They'll start in patients that have already failed a round of treatment, but if the drugs show success, the companies will surely move into treatment-naive patients.
The press release didn't mention any financial details. Maybe they're waiting to see if they're compatible before putting a name on their relationship.
Like the HIV market, the future of hepatitis C treatment is a cocktail that's hopefully capable of curing everyone. Incivek and Victrelis from Vertex Pharmaceuticals
But that still leaves room for improvement. And the older medications -- Merck's PegIntron and Roche's Pegasys -- have to be injected and have unpleasant side effects. Going to an all-oral regimen is the ultimate goal.
Hepatitis C drugmakers with limited compounds are scrambling to partner up to avoid being left behind. Pharmasset has a similar deal combining PSI-7977 with a drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb
Gilead has six hepatitis C compounds in clinical trials that it can mix or match to find the right combo on its own, which might explain why Johnson & Johnson didn't hit up its HIV partner for another go around in hepatitis C.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences, and Vertex. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson.
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