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AbbVie's Hepatitis C Treatment Under Priority Review in Japan

- By Alberto Abaterusso

AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) announced March 14 through the PRNewswire the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has validated its new drug application for "its investigational, pan-genotypic, ribavirin-free regimen of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir (G/P)."


This is the third accelerated review for the treatment, following those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.

The treatment is administered to patients who are chronically infected with genotypes 1 through 6 of the hepatitis C virus.

Once authorized by the Japanese administration for commercialization, patients will be able to access the treatment.

The company says there are about one million Japanese people infected with hepatitis C virus.

"We are pleased that G/P has now been recognized as a potential important therapy for people living with HCV through the receipt of priority review designations by regulatory authorities in Japan, the EU and the U.S.," Michael Severino, AbbVie's executive vice president, said.

AbbVie's treatment is endorsed by the results of eight studies researchers in 27 different countries have conducted on a total of more than 2,300 patients.

AbbVie closed at $65.67 per share yesterday, down 18 cents or -0.27% from the previous trading day, with a volume of 3,728,039 shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Based on the closing price, the price-sales (P/S) ratio is 4.08 and the price-book (P/B) ratio is 22.56. The 52-week price range is between $54.41 per share and $68.12 per share.

The stock is more volatile than the stock market with a beta of 1.49. It has underperformed the S&P 500 by 0.79% year to date.

AbbVie has a market capitalization of $104.67 billion and an enterprise value of $135.09 billion. The company has 1.59 billion shares outstanding. The percentage of shares held by insiders is 0.10% and by institutions is 73.60%.

Disclosure: I have no position in AbbVie Inc.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.