During recent clinical trials that paired Gilead Sciences GS-7977 with Bristol-Myers Squibb daclatasvir, one hundred percent (100%) of genotype 1 patients and >91% of genotype 2 & 3 patients were cured. This cure rate was achieved without interferon or ribavirin as reflected in the results released this past April 2012 Clinical Trial Results. (Full Results)
Doctors and researchers worldwide, and the HCV community as a whole, were astounded when Gilead Sciences announced shortly thereafter there would be no further trials with these two drugs. Instead Gilead Sciences seems intent on looking “in-house” and is forging ahead with a study of GS-7977 either with ribavirin or with their own experimental NS5A inhibitor GS-5885. This chosen path could take many years to bring to fruition and none of these “in-house” drugs have proven to be as effective as this combination.
While this decision potentially assures the board of directors of this publicly traded company the maximum return for its shareholders, it utterly fails to show any moral or ethical consideration or compassion for the health, well-being and the very lives of the countless millions of people with HCV.
“The only appropriate motivation should be what is the best and fastest way to get cures, not what is best for the shareholders,” said Dr. Scott Friedman, chief of liver diseases at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, who was not involved in the trial.
Dr. Douglas J. Manion, a senior vice president for Bristol-Myers, said his company was “keen” on working with Gilead but that “thus far, they have been unwilling to engage in that collaboration.”
The recent recommendations by the CDC stating that all “baby boomers” should be tested for hepatitis C, only serves to underscore the exceeding importance of moving ahead with this life-saving drug combination. The CDC estimates one-time testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 additional people with hepatitis C.
More than 170,000 people have died since these results were released this past April, and yet there is still NO COLLABORATION. How many more must die before Gilead Sciences and their investors start putting human lives BEFORE profits?
We formed the HCV Coalition for The Cure and launched the petition at Change.org hoping if enough people sign the petition, it will send a loud and clear message to both Gilead Sciences and their shareholders! WE want this CURE for Hepatitis C without interferon OR ribavirin…and we want it NOW!