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Survey: Physicians Cite Need for New Therapies for HCV Infection

Clinicians and patients await interferon-free regimens (Nov. 15)

BioTrends Research Group, a research and advisory firm based in Exton, Pa., reports that, although Incivek (telaprevir, Vertex) and Victrelis (boceprevir, Merck) have provided much-needed advances in the treatment of genotype-1 hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, there is still an unmet need for treating these patients.

Nearly all surveyed physicians agreed that the protease inhibitors are important advances for the treatment of HCV infection and will continue to be an important option for prior failures and partial responders; however, 84% of physicians also agreed that there is still a need for alternative therapies for HCV infection. Furthermore, gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and infectious disease (ID) specialists ranked the unmet need for new therapeutic options for HCV infection as greater than for any other condition typically treated by these physicians.

Despite slightly higher rates of discontinuation, due primarily to poor patient tolerability, physicians are currently using Incivek in a greater proportion of their genotype-1 HCV patients than they are using Victrelis. Incivek rated significantly higher than Victrelis on overall physician satisfaction and overall performance.

The company also reports that surveyed gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and ID specialists do not anticipate using products that are not currently available in the treatment of HCV infection within the next 6 months for their genotype-1 HCV patients. Physicians indicated that they do not think agents in development will be available within that period, or, if available, they will not use them. Nevertheless, approximately half of surveyed physicians reported that they are beginning to intentionally delay treatment for certain HCV patients until new interferon-free regimens become available. In addition, nearly half of the physicians also reported that many of their HCV patients are denying treatment in anticipation of emerging interferon-free regimens currently in development.

With regard to products in the pipeline, daclatasvir (BMS-790052, Bristol-Myers Squibb) and sofosbuvir (GS-7977, Gilead) garnered the highest degree of familiarity and interest for use in HCV infection, according to the survey respondents. When rating which agents in late-stage development would bring the most value to their practices, surveyed physicians selected sofosbuvir as the most valuable, followed by daclatasvir, simeprevir (TMC-435, Tibotec/Medivir), and faldaprevir (BI201335, Boehringer Ingelheim).

Source: BioTrends Research Group; November 15, 2012.

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