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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), AbbVie Inc (ABBV): Watch This HCV Player

Will Johnson find a friend?

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is pushing simeprevir through the FDA based on mid-stage genotype 1 trials that produced results around 90% — but included interferon. That’s not going to earn Johnson & Johnson a nice piece of the HCV market, and the company knows that.

The good news is that Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) are the only ones with enough drugs in-house to try to push their own combo therapies. Everyone else is scrambling around trying to find partners. Simeprevir is involved in ongoing trials using oral projects from the likes of Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) and Vertex.

It’s too early to say what will happen with these partnership trials. But pulling off another 100% cure rate might convince one of these other companies to pair up with Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). It would serve the best interest of both companies when trying to take on Gilead and AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV).

Foolish final thoughts

Gilead and AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) stand in the strongest positions right now because they’ve turned up good data and have the resources to produce in-house combo therapies. But Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) could still find a place in the market if simeprevir maintains an 100% cure rate with another drug owned by a willing partner.

The article Watch This HCV Player originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Brandy Betz.

Brandy Betz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Gilead Sciences and Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Brandy is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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