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Report: Current HCV Regimens to Face Strong Competition After Launch of Sofosbuvir and Simeprevir

Physicians put patients on hold, await new therapies (November 21)

BioTrends Research Group, a biopharmaceutical research and advisory firm located in Exton, Pa., finds that, after the launches of sofosbuvir (Gilead) and simeprevir (Janssen/Medivir) in the U.S., currently marketed triple-therapy (i.e., regimens containing telaprevir [Incivek, Vertex] and boceprevir [Victrelis, Merck]) and dual-therapy hepatitis C virus (HCV) regimens will lose market share to regimens based on sofosbuvir and simeprevir.

When asked about treatment practices in the next 6 months, surveyed physicians plan to treat 17% of their genotype-1 and 21% of their actively treated genotype-2/3 HCV patients with regimens containing sofosbuvir, simeprevir, or both.

Most of the surveyed physicians also reported that they are currently “warehousing” HCV patients in anticipation of new therapies, with nearly 30% of this warehousing specifically attributed to waiting for access to sofosbuvir or polymerase inhibitors. Although most surveyed physicians are warehousing both treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients as they wait for the approval of simeprevir, sofosbuvir, or other interferon-free therapy options, only 12% of surveyed physicians indicated that they are satisfied with currently approved treatments.

“In anticipation of the availability of new directly acting antivirals, the shift in the HCV treatment paradigm is already apparent,” said analyst Sandra Renz. “With the imminent approval of simeprevir and sofosbuvir — agents offering potentially shorter treatment duration, possible interferon-free regimens, improved safety and tolerability profiles, and higher cure rates — physicians are eagerly awaiting these new regimens and holding off on prescribing treatment until they are part of the arsenal.”

The report also finds that at least one-third of surveyed physicians have received a patient request for one of the currently available HCV brands in the past month. Further, a subset of surveyed physicians has already received patient requests for sofosbuvir and simeprevir, suggesting that awareness of these products exists among patients ahead of the drugs’ anticipated U.S. launch later this year.

Source: BioTrends Research Group; November 21, 2013.

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