Hepatitis C Space Heats Up

Drugs from Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb look like they'll be able to compete with offerings from Gilead Sciences, AbbVie, and Johnson & Johnson.

Brian Orelli
Brian Orelli
Apr 25, 2014 at 6:30PM
Health Care

What looked like a two-horse hepatitis C race between Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) and AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) has gotten more interesting, with Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) presenting data on their hepatitis C drugs at a scientific meeting earlier this month.

While it's clear Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi combination product will be approved first, closely followed by AbbVie's combo drug, Merck's combination looks just as good and could be on the market in the not-to-distant future if the phase 3 data is as good as the recently presented phase 2 data.

Bristol-Myers Squibb's daclatasvir and asunaprevir are currently under review at the FDA. The pharma is applying for individual approval of the drugs, so daclatasvir -- arguably the more valuable of the two -- could be used in combination with Gilead's Sovaldi, much like Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) Olysio is being used right now.

In the video below, senior biotech specialist Brian Orelli and health-care bureau chief Max Macaluso discus the ever-changing state of the hepatitis C space.