Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) have participated at the liver meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. Sovaldi is the $3 billion-per-quarter hepatitis C cure that allowed Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) take the lead in the market. The disease is expected to affect about 1 million Americans till 2020, according to CNBC.
“It affects as many as 180 million people worldwide and a lot of folks who have hepatitis C are heading towards what’s called cirrhosis. That’s liver damage, liver scarring which can lead to the need for a transplant after liver failure,” informed Meg Tirrell.
The current focus is on hepatitis B, as this health issue can be controlled by means of nowadays medicine, but it cannot be cured. Besides it, there are also some fatty liver conditions that can affect up to half of US’ population by 2030, which would explain why pharmaceuticals battle so fiercely to be the ones that pass the Phase I and Phase II trials. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is experimenting in reducing the current treatment period by combining different drugs that are already available, including those produced by Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD).
“We did an experiment to look at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and 8 weeks and, as it turns out, the 4 week duration might be a little too short, but it helped us a lot because we’re now focused around a box of 6 to 8 weeks. That’s much of an improvement compared with what’s currently available, which is 12 to 24 weeks” said Dr. Eliav Barr Merck Infectious Disease Vice President.
AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) is more like a spectator for the time being, but it might acquire the lead if it will manage to bypass Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)’s Sovaldi or if it will figure out a cure for hepatitis B, which seems an equally difficult task.
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