Well, this is certainly good news for HCV patients. The question in the coming months and years will be which is better and is one better for any specific patient type.
For now, I still see telaprevir as superior. Let me give two reasons.
First, the hardest to treat patients are the Genotype 1 prior treatment failures and their telaprevir is superior by a mile. Telaprevir showed a 52% svr in the Prove 3 study, which compared to a range of 7% to 14% for boceprevir. The data for the controls in the vertex study are not yet available, so it is hard to make comparisons on that basis. But, the study 107 results further support the telaprevir advantage for treatment failures.
Second, while the boceprevir data for treatment naive are quite good, there is only really one arm that you can directly compare with telaprevir, i.e. the 24 week no lead in. Here, boceprevir achieved a 55% SVR24 compared to a 38% SVR 24 for the control for a 17% raw improvement. In comparison in Prove 1 and 2 respectively, telaprevir achieved 61 and 68% SVR24, in comparison to the controls at 41 and 48% at SVR12, for a 20% raw improvement. Thus, at this point telaprevir is showing slightly better results than boceprevir. On top of that, the SVR for the controls in the telaprevir study could decrease somewhat as they go to SVR24, which would improve the telaprevir advantage above 3%.
As far as the share price, VRTX typically overreacts in either direction and today that is magnified by the overall market.
What will erase the share price drop is a little bit of time. Time to digest the actual differences between the two drugs, rather than simply reacting to headlines.
If you want to get a clue as to what the pros think of the share price, look at the volume of VRTX calls sold today and the premiums you have to pay to get a VRTX call. There are certainly a lot of bets being made that the share price will recover.
Very well stated. The other key advantage of telaprevir over boceprevir is only needing 6 months of total treatment time with SOC. By adding 4 week pretreatment with SOC in the treatment of treatment naive patients, a greater efficiacy with telaprevir is likely to be demonstrated based on the data SGP publihsed today.
It should also be noted that according to www.clinicaltrials.gov SGP has yet to start a Phase III trial. Trials are listed, but they are not yet recruiting. So, in terms of time, VRTX has probably a 6 months head start.