For those who missed it, I posted this message on
8/15/99-in response to IJFarnkle's message
This predates Dr. Vierling's conference yesterday.
Info is essentially the same:
IJ Frankle- Thank
you for the info.
Unfortunately (may be fortunately), the
info by CBIC (or who ever) is misleading and
incorrect. It is true that
1)PEG-IFN is given once a
week 2) that IFN (by SGP) is given 3/wk. What is not
true is that PEG-IFN is as
effective as IFN and
Ribaviron (RIBA) combo. IFN and RIBA combo is more
effective than PEG-IFN. The
major limiting factor in
giving rebetron is not RIBA but IFN. IFN is very toxic
drug having many side effects
general malaise, muscle cramping, joint pains, and fever.
In addition it is given as
inconvenient to administer). It is the intolerance to IFN that
limits the usage of REbetron not
RIBA. RIBA is not
completely benign drug but has little additional side effect
when added to IFN. RIBA
does cause anemia (lowers
blood count) and thus pts with severe anemia cannot use
Why use the combo? Initially,
SGP's IFN was approved for monotherapy, but because of
it's low effectivenes
(15 % sustained response)
with great deal of side effects- it was not widely
used. When given in COMBO
effectiveness wa greatly enhanced ( 40 % sustained response)
with no significant increase in
side effect other
than anemia. Thus, rebetron became the standard
therapy. RIBA is given orally so it is easy
IS there other IFN available for Hep C? Yes,
AMGN's consensus IFN is much better than SGP's IFN.
has sustained response rate of about 30 % with
less side effect. But because of higher sustained
rate (40 %) with rebetron- It is the current
standard. (In terms of efficacy- in ceratain strains of
virus - non
type 1- the efficacy of the combo is
between 60 -90 %)
How does the COMBO work and why
use it? AS in current strategy for HIV therapy, RIBA
replication while IFN stimulates body's
immune sytem to fight off the virus- thus the two drugs
complementary or synergistic. Why is PEG-IFN
better? Mainly because it stays in the blood system
can be given 1/wk rather than 3/wk.
Initially, it was thought that it would have less side
effect than IFN-
Unfortunately PEG-IFN is having
almost similar maybe slirhtly less than SGP IFN. PEG-IFN
is expected to
have similar eficay as the AMGN's
There is general belief that
addition of RIBA to AMGN's IFN or PEG-IFN will increase
efficay by about
20-30 % since it acts at different
site than IFN. (By the way, the PEG-IFN - RIBA combo
clinical study is
already under way) As some of you
are aware, that is the criticism that SGP has
received from Hep C
organizations- not allowing AMGN
to test RIBA with their IFN.
As for the point
that SGP will make more money from PEG-IFN versus
IFN-RIBA or PEG-IFN-RIBA
combo- only complete idiot
could believe that PEG-IFN would be more profitable.
With SGP's IFN and
RIBA, SGP will make all profit
from IFN and partial from RIBA. WIth PEG-IFN and RIBA,
they will make
partial profit from PEG-IFN and
RIBA- which is better than PEG-IFN alone. When PEG-IFN
SGP will most likely comtinue to
use Rebetron as the first line of therapy. Why?
Because it is more profitable
to them and the combo
will have slight advantage in efficacy compared to
PEG-IFN. It will most likely be
used for limited pts
that cannot tolerate the combo. It's main use will
come when PEG-IFN and RIBA combo
SOrry for the long message- but, I felt compelled
to correct the misinfo on this board abd by
news sources. I hope this helps.
Good luck to
all ICN investors
my time. How am I going to look smarter than Sal
when you upstage me? I thought you were my friend.
Incidentally, get the 1-800 number and beat RTA to the draw.
You are already one up on him on technical analysis.
Well, I don't know about real technical analysis.
by Solomon Smith Barney for its clients. Many on
RB seemed confused like you. Some there thought it
was put on by ICN at their request by SSB. A lot of
mass confusion. Go there and read ijfrankel. Read D_Z
who is good on the science of the matter but has
opinions about trading action that may or may not be too
solid. The outcome of the SSB CC is part of the reason
for the uptrend today.