With all the new technologies and discoveries, some drugmakers are undoubtedly going to be left in the dust. SciClone Pharmaceuticals
On Thursday, SciClone announced that patients in a large phase 3 trial testing Zadaxin as a treatment for hepatitis C had completed dosing and that top-line clinical trial data would be announced in the fourth quarter.
Zadaxin has been tested for a range of indications including hepatitis B, melanoma, and hepatitis C. In February, SciClone released "blinded" data from one point in this phase 3 study showing that 31% of patients who had failed with other hepatitis C therapies had no detectable levels of the virus in their bloodstream at the end of 48 weeks in the trial.
The most commonly used hepatitis C standard-of-care drugs from Schering-Plough
There are other potential issues for Zadaxin as well. But the bigger problem is that even in a perfect-case scenario -- it makes it onto the market at this point (despite significant hurdles) -- data from other compounds like Vertex Pharmaceuticals'
Zadaxin is already approved for marketing in hepatitis B in China, which is undoubtedly the Wild West of pharmaceuticals, so who knows how Zadaxin will fare over there. But its potential as a treatment for hepatitis C in the U.S. and European Union looks rough at this point because of formidable competition.