Vertex Pharmaceuticals saw a significant bump in its share price this morning after researchers released new, mid-stage interim data backing telaprevir for hepatitis C. The company is now penciling in the start of a new late-stage trial for the closely watched drug--enrolling patients who had failed standard therapy--in the third quarter. The new data is from a Phase IIb involving patients who had failed a standard therapy.
In the study, patients received telaprevir in combination with interferon/ribavirin for 12 weeks, then the combination therapy for the next 12 weeks followed by 12 weeks of neither therapy. The control arm received the combination therapy for 36 weeks. Slightly more than half of the telaprevir group had undetectable levels of the virus after 36 weeks compared to 30 percent in the control group. A late stage trial for the hep C drug began in spring with patients who had received no prior therapy.