During the day today, an anonymous commenter asked the following:
. . . .Do you have any more specific info on the AASLD events? SP Specialty has been told Boceprevir has less toxicity, better SVR’s, and has passed Telapravir in the race to launch.
November 2, 2009 @ 4:29 PM. . . .
First, I have no “inside” information — and I am not in Boston this week.
That said, we must remember that this is Schering-Plough’s management making these claims. As such, a few things are fairly clear. Based on the data available thus far, most independent analysts feel Vertex’s telaprevir has shown the more promising SVR rates — both in treatment-naive populations, and null responders. So let’s call this one a Kenilworth myth.
As to less toxicity, I think it is far too early to say definitively. Not all the Phase II/III studies are complete, yet. My sense is that Vertex’s candidate is no worse, and perhaps a little better than boceprevir, the Schering candidate. So, let’s be generous, and call this one a “push“.
Finally, I cannot see a path through FDA that has Schering-Plough’s boceprevir finishing first. I do see such a path for telaprevir — but this all depends on how these studies ultimately report out. Let’s say “the jury’s still out” on this one.
Net/net: I’d say to the SP Specialty sales force — you are (mostly) being sold a load of shineola by management.