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AbbVie Reveals Positive Data on Combination HCV Therapy

AbbVie Inc. ABBV announced data from a post-hoc analysis of five phase III trials – PEARL-IV, SAPPHIRE-II, TURQUOISE-II, PEARL-II and TURQUOISE-III.

Data from the trials showed that the patients with genotype 1 (GT1) chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, who received the recommended regimen of Viekirax (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir tablets) + Exviera  (dasabuvir tablets), with or without ribavirin, achieved high sustained virologic response rates after 48 weeks of post-treatment irrespective of the presence of baseline resistance-associated variants (RAVs).

Results also showed that 97% of patients with GT1a chronic HCV infection, with or without baseline NS5A RAVs, achieved SVR at 48 weeks when receiving the recommended regimen with ribavirin.

AbbVie’s leading HCV treatment – Viekira Pak, an all-oral, short-course, interferon-free therapy, with or without ribavirin – was approved by the FDA in Dec 2014. In Jan 2015, the Viekirax+Exviera combination was approved in Europe for the treatment of genotype 1 (GT1) chronic HCV infection, Viekirax is also approved in Europe for the treatment of chronic HCV genotype 4 (GT4) infection.

The FDA also approved Technivie (ombitasvir, paritaprevir and ritonavir) for use in combination with ribavirin in Jul 2015 for the treatment of adults with HCV GT4 infection.

Meanwhile, pricing pressure in the HCV market remains a significant matter of concern. We note that Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD, the lead player in the HCV market, has signed up with several pharmacy benefit managers.  Viekira Pak faces stiff competition from Gilead’s Sovaldi and Harvoni. Further, the addition of warnings to the labels of Viekira Pak and Technivie could hurt AbbVie’s sales.

AbbVie currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A couple of better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are Novo Nordisk A/S NVO and Eli Lilly and Company LLY. Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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LILLY ELI & CO (LLY): Free Stock Analysis Report
NOVO-NORDISK AS (NVO): Free Stock Analysis Report
GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis Report
ABBVIE INC (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report
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