Monday, November 03, 2008

While You Were Making A Closing Argument

As the presidential and down-ticket candidates make their final campaign stops we'll have a little pharma-related election coverage for you today. But first: how was your weekend? We hope that Friday's celebration and/or too much Halloween candy didn't make you queasy on Saturday.

If you have the patience to wade through the election news--prank calls, polls, and Prop.s and pundits galore--to the business pages, there were a few nuggets from the world of health care. This weekend's conference news, for example, is courtesy of the AASLD gathering out in San Fran. With each Liver Meeting seems to come further news about Vertex and Schering-Plough's duelling hepatitis C protease inhibitors, and as you'll see below, this year is no exception.

So without further ado: while you were eating thirty-seven fun-size Snickers ...

  • Vertex boosted its telaprevir prospects with further data from its Prove Phase II programs, announced on Saturday. Most striking was an interim analysis from the Prove-3 trial of the experimental HCV protease inhibitor in non-responders to prior therapy. Here the addition of telaprevir for 12 weeks at the onset of a 24-week course of standard interferon/ribavirin therapy yielded a 52% SVR12 (undetectable virus 12 weeks after the conclusion of treatment).
  • Schering-Plough counterpunched with its own PI data, presenting Phase II data from a trial of boceprevir in previously untreated patients. After 48 weeks of treatment with boceprevir plus interferon/ribavirin, 74% of patients achieved SVR12, said the Big Pharma.
  • Yes, yes, there was more at AASLD than telaprevir and boceprevir. Want more liver meeting news? Click here.
  • From the department of the bleeding obvious: Tough times for biotech IPOs.
  • On tap for Monday? Politics, of course. And preemption. Great background at SCOTUS blog (h/t pharmagossip) and, obviously, at The Pink Sheet.
wordle by flickr user EricaJoy used under a creative commons license

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