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MSD/Roche expand hepatitis C partnership

MSD and Roche have signed a deal for the global promotion and marketing of Victrelis as part of a combination therapy for the hepatitis C virus

MSD (known as Merck within the US and Canada) and Roche have signed a deal for the global promotion and marketing of Victrelis as part of a combination therapy for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The deal follows the approval of the drug for marketing in the European Union, and expands upon a previous agreement between the two companies in May, 2011.

Under the revised terms, the two companies will work together in global markets, including Europe, Asia and Latin America, providing education for physicians and patients about HCV.

Previously, plans for promotion of the drug only covered the US, where the treatment was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Victrelis is intended for the treatment of chronic HCV, in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin, in adult patients with compensated liver disease, including cirrhosis, who are previously untreated or who have failed previous interferon and ribavirin therapy.

It is an oral therapy that is taken three times a day with food. MSD acquired the drug as part of its 2009 takeover of Schering-Plough, which had brought the product through phase II development.

20th July 2011

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