I think this next generation candidates’ Hep C research and development collaboration is a good idea — but it is far from market-moving news, for either player. There are other candidates in various others of the multinational pharmas’ pipelines — and Vertex Pharma’s telaprivir still holds a sizeable lead over legacy Schering-Plough’s (now Merck’s) boceprevir, in the FDA-approved Hep C drug space.
From the AP story, then:
. . . .Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb will run a mid-stage clinical trial of a drug regimen designed to treat the most common type of the hepatitis C virus.
The trial will study a combination of Bristol’s drug daclatasvir, and Merck’s MK-5172. Merck will run the trial in which patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C will be monitored. That is both the most common type of the virus and the toughest to treat. . . .
We will keep you posted — as ever. But I’d bet that a good portion of this “toughest to treat” market will be serviced by some other pharma(s)’ lead candidate, come 2016 or so.