Merck & Co. said Friday that its experimental drug combination for treating chronic hepatitis C patients demonstrated a 95% effective rate in a late-stage study.
The study combined grazoprevir and elbasvir in a once-daily tablet and was administered to previously untreated patients, some of whom also had HIV and liver cirrhosis, for 12 weeks.
“Patients with co-morbidities and varying treatment experiences represent important segments of the chronic hepatitis C population in need of additional innovative treatment options,” said Dr. Eric Lawitz, vice president at the Texas Liver Institute.
A Merck spokesperson said the company remains on track to submit a New Drug Application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2015.
The combined tablet from Merck poses a potential threat to Gilead Sciences Inc.