Bayer cites success in hemophilia study, but may still trail Biogen Idec

Bayer has posted a fresh set of positive data on its hemophilia therapy BAY94-9027. But with a timeline that doesn't anticipate a regulatory filing until next year, at least one prominent analyst says that Biogen Idec still commands a lead in their race to the market.

Bayer notes that 94-9027 met its goal in the PROTECT VIII study, protecting hemophiliacs with an administration every 7 days.

"These results are very encouraging," said Jerry Powell, director of the Hemophilia Treatment Center at the University of California, Davis. "We have found that this investigational site-specific PEGylated factor VIII may help protect patients from bleeds associated with hemophilia A, even when used every seven days. The current standard of treatment requires infusion every two to three days.

But after looking over the results, ISI's Mark Schoenebaum says Biogen Idec ($BIIB) appears to still be in the lead with its Factor VIII therapy.

"The bottom line is that the half lives for the BIIB and BAY molecule are extremely similar," notes Schoenebaum. "Thus, in theory, they should allow for similar dosing intervals. In addition, the BAY molecule is pegylated while the BIIB molecule is not. Our physician feedback has revealed a reasonably consistent (even if not really evidence based) aversion to pegylated factors. BIIB's drug is likely to be approve mid-year while BAY has not yet filed for approval."

There's a lot at stake. Schoenebaum believes Biogen's drug can earn $2 billion a year.

- here's the release