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SciClone’s Zadaxin For Hepatitis C Rises From Ashes

This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily

Executive Summary

Phase III interim data has positive implications for twice-failed drug, analyst and SciClone CEO tell "The Pink Sheet" DAILY.

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R&D In Brief

Roche initiates PI/PI combo HCV trial early: Roche announces the first patients have been dosed in its INFORM-1 trial Nov. 10, almost a year early. The trial is the first dual-combination study with oral antivirals in hepatitis C in the absence of interferon, which, in combination with ribavirin, is the standard of care for HCV. Roche will dose patients with its protease inhibitor ITMN-191 (R7227), partnered with InterMune, and its polymerase inhibitor R7128, partnered with Pharmasset, over 14 days in treatment-naive patients infected with HCV genotype 1. Roche recently dropped its lead polymerase inhibitor candidate, R1626, for safety reasons, and shifted focus to R7128 (1"The Pink Sheet" DAILY, Oct. 21, 2008). Top-line data from the combination trial could come as early as the second quarter of 2009. The trial combines the two most promising mechanisms for HCV therapy. Panelists at the recent ICAAC conference predicted that the protease inhibitors should reach the market in 2011, followed by polymerase inhibitors in 2014. Initially protease inhibitors will be used in combination with interferon/ribavirin therapy, but there is potential that combination therapy with protease and polymerase inhibitors will eventually replace the older standard regimen

Rare Disease Roundtable: Dealing With Pricing Pressure

Part 2: High costs are built into the rare disease business model. Participants at a roundtable discussion led by Scrip at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference talked about how much they are feeling the pressure on pricing.

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