AbbVie/Enanta Post Stellar Phase 3 Data But No One Is Cheering

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) and its partner Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENTA) received exceedingly good news about new Phase III data on their hep C combo for glecaprevir/pibrentasvir. BUT since these drugs first went into combo clinical trials, the market has peaked and begun a painful retreat as the top players scramble to stay competitive.

Written by John Carroll (ENDpts.com)

The data were absolutely stellar. Fully 99% of genotype 1, 2, 4, 5 or 6 patients — in 145 of 146 patients — saw their virus disappear after 12 weeks of treatment. They did that without ribavirin and without turning away a likely group of resistant patients.

Now the bad news.

Stellar data has become routine in the last few years, after Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) claimed the bulk of the market with its new, highly tolerable, drugs of its own, followed by rivals from Merck & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MRK)...and, since these drugs first went into combo clinical trials, the market has peaked and begun a painful retreat as the top players scramble to stay competitive.

A couple of months ago Baird’s Brian Skorney took a look at AbbVie’s work and concluded:

(W)e believe the Hep C heyday is well in the rearview mirror and AbbVie will be struggling to capture market share in a rapidly declining market.

Ouch.

The combo is currently under review at the EMA and the FDA, with a very high chance of approval at each agency - but is anyone waiting for a new hep C cure?

Not likely.

The new race in next-gen hep C drugs is putting a premium on faster cures, looking to reduce the regimen needed to conquer the virus, and presumably lower the price. Investigators have a lot to be proud of here, but marketers are likely going to pale at the challenge of carving out significant revenue.

 

 

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