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 이성욱 ( 2011-10-25 23:13:16 , Hit : 2888
 Vertex study will evaluate 12-week treatment period for some hepatitis C patients

10/24/2011 10:06 AM

By Chris Reidy, Globe Staff


Five months after it received regulatory approval for a potential blockbuster hepatitis C drug called Incivek, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it is launching a study to evaluate whether some patients can benefit from 12 weeks of treatment rather than 24 or 48 weeks.

Incivek is currently being used as a component in a drug combination therapy that stretches from 24 to 48 weeks, but there is a subset of hepatitis C patients who tend to respond more quickly to treatment, and Cambridge-based Vertex said in a press release that is is now looking to evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week treatment period for that patient group.

In a statement, Robert Kauffman, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer for Vertex, said: “As we enter a new era of treatment for hepatitis C, one of our goals is to offer patients a high chance for a cure in the shortest amount of time. This study is one of several ways Vertex is exploring the potential for people with hepatitis C to achieve high viral cure rates with just 12 weeks of total treatment.”

Industry analysts believe that Incivek has the potential to be a blockbuster drug, meaning that it will generate more than $1 billion in annual sales.

Last week, Vertex filed an application to the Food and Drug Administration to review a company drug candidate called Kalydeco as a treatment for a subset of patients with cystic fibrosis.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.







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