Gilead, Bristol Put Profits Ahead of Best Care for Hep C Patients
BARCELONA (TheStreet) -- The most effective new therapy for hepatitis C -- two pills that could cure nearly every patient treated -- may never see the light of day because the developers of these new medicines, Bristol-Myers Squibb(BMY) and Gilead Sciences(GILD) , seem unable to work together.
Apparently, profits are more important than best patient care.
The new Hep C therapy at issue here combines Bristol's daclatasvir with Gilead's GS-7977. Each is a single pill administered once a day. The results from this new therapy are nothing short of spectacular -- an early cure rate of 100% for genotype 1 patients and 91% of genotype 2/3 patients, according to data from a mid-stage study announced Thursday at the European Association for the Study of Liver Disease (EASL) meeting.
A 100% cure rate for genotype 1 patients! Obviously, results can't get better than that.
You'd think there'd be a rush to move the combination regimen of daclatasvir and GS-7977 into a larger, confirmatory phase III trial, but you'd be mistaken. Amazingly, this most promising new treatment for hepatitis C patients may actually be discontinued because Bristol and Gilead can't work together.
Good luck understanding why Bristol and Gilead can't come together to help Hep C patients. The companies can't even agree on the fact that the two companies are not agreeing.
"Given the strong SVR4
Gilead spokeswoman Amy Flood responded, "That's not the case. There are a number of new data sets at EASL and we need to evaluate and understand all of them. We're going to do that, and look at the best option or options for proceeding as quickly as possible to advance the best all-oral regimen."
EASL Secretary General Mark Thursz wants to see the two companies work together.