AbbVie's hep C cocktail aces its latest PhIII study with a sky-high cure rate

AbbVie's ($ABBV) promising oral hepatitis C combo treatment is rolling along toward FDA approval, and the drugmaker unveiled a deeper set of Phase III data in which the cocktail cured nearly 100% of patients in a tough-to-treat population. In a 12-week study of 419 treatment-naive patients with chronic genotype 1b hep C, AbbVie's three-drug therapy cured roughly 99% of patients, with and without the use of ribavirin, also performing well in subjects for whom sex, race and other characteristics make treatment less effective, the company said. The trial is one of 6 late-stage studies AbbVie completed to support an FDA application, which the company expects to submit next quarter. Meanwhile, rival Gilead Sciences ($GILD) handed its fixed-dose hep C combo to the FDA last month, and both are expected to launch their treatments this year. Notably, neither company included sales estimates for the drugs in their 2014 guidances. More