Johnson & Johnson research arm Janssen Sciences will discontinue the development of its hepatitis C drug due to the availability of highly effective therapies that can address this medical condition. Janssen Sciences is going to focus more on the cure for chronic Hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis B is known to cause inflammation of the liver.
Janssen Sciences said, “its hepatitis C treatment regimen of a combination of three direct-acting antivirals will be taken till phase two studies and there will be no additional development thereafter. Today, people living with hepatitis C have a much more diverse range of therapies available following a wave of innovative treatments securing approval. For most, the standard of care for hepatitis C therapy has duration of 8-12 weeks offering a cure to around 92-100% of people treated,”
One of the reasons that led to discontinuing the hepatitis C drug manufacturing is, a series of hepatitis C drugs is launched by three global pharma leaders. These hepatitis C drug has shown a 100% cure rate. This company involved in manufacturing hepatitis C drugs are Sofosbuvir combination drug which is followed by AbbVie’s Glecaprevir and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir.
These series of Hepatitis C drugs launches have combined sales of close to $50 billion. Gilead has the major share in this sale. Globally around 71 million people were reported with chronic Hepatitis C infection according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Around 257 million people live with hepatitis B infection which is known to cause a life threatening liver infection.
Lawrence M Blatt, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Infectious Disease Therapeutics at Janssen, said in the statement, “Our hepatitis R&D efforts will focus on chronic hepatitis B, where a high unmet medical need still exists. Our research ambition is to achieve a functional cure of hepatitis B, which affects over a quarter of a billion people globally.”