|Merck, Roche move on hepatitis C sales deal.|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Tuesday, 17 May 2011 19:59|
Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) will promote its Victrelis hepatitis C drug with Roche Holding AG (OTC:RHHBY) in the United States, a partnership that could give the medicine a competitive edge against another new treatment deemed more effective.
Victrelis will go against Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc's (NASDAQ:VRTX) telaprevir, or Incivek, in the multibillion-dollar hepatitis C market.
Incivek, which demonstrated a cure rate as high as 79 percent in clinical trials, is expected to win U.S. approval next week. The Merck drug cured 66 percent of patients in its pivotal studies, while current standard treatments cure only 40 percent or less.
Merck and Roche compete in selling their own forms of pegylated interferon, an injectable protein that has long been used alongside anti-viral pill ribavirin to attack the hepatitis C virus.
Roche's interferon, Pegasys, has roughly 75 percent market share compared with 25 percent for Merck's brand, called Peg-Intron. Either of the drugs must be used as part of the underlying treatment with Victrelis, along with ribavirin.
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FONAR Corporation (NASDAQ: FONR), The Inventor of MR Scanning™, announced it has been notified by the NASDAQ Listing Panel that "the Company has met the requirements of the Panel's decision dated March 17, 2011 and the applicable requirements for listing on The NASDAQ Stock Market."
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Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq:NEOG) announced today that William T. Boehm, a recently retired senior vice president of The Kroger Co. and former senior economist for the President's Council of Economic Advisors, was elected to Neogen's Board of Directors.
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Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ:SHPGY), the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, announces that it has signed an agreement to acquire Advanced BioHealing, Inc.
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World Health Energy Holdings, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: WHEN), a public holding company operating in the alternative energy sector, announced today that the company's wholly owned subsidiary, GNE-India, has appointed Mr. Edward H. Blum to its advisory board.