Abbott sees drug sales jump as PhIII advances for hep C therapy

Just months away from its planned pharmaceutical business spinoff, Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) reported a 2.4% increase in global sales of branded drugs in the third quarter ending Sept. 30, led, unsurprisingly, by growth in its blockbuster Humira franchise. Yet the big news on the R&D front from Abbott, whose planned pharma spinoff will be called AbbVie, was the initiation of a Phase III clinical trial for the company's closely watched oral hepatitis C therapy. Recently, the company grabbed headlines when the combo of three Abbott compounds and standard ribavirin provided a sustained virological response at 12 weeks for 99% of treatment-naïve patients with the liver-damaging disease in a Phase IIb study. The program rivals a competing cocktail under development at Gilead Sciences ($GILD) to combat hep C without interferon injections, which are tied to side effects. Article



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