Can Merck, Bristol-Myers, or AbbVie Compete with Gilead’s Cure for Hepatitis C?

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

The race for a hepatitis C cure is closing in fast; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) and Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MRK) both announced Thursday that clinical trials of their experimental drugs for the virus have produced positive results.

According to a Wall Street Journal report Friday, doctors are pleased that other drugmakers are succeeding in their quest for a cure for hepatitis C, but most still believe that Gilead Sciences Inc.‘s (NASDAQ:GILD) Sovaldi has the lead, despite the fact that the company has come under fire recently from both legislators and insurers for proposing to charge $1,000 a pill for the medicine.

Gilead presented pivotal data regarding their Sovaldi hepatitis C cure on Friday at a London conference of the European Association for the Study of the Liver; Gilead’s Sciences pill exhibited an impressive 94 percent cure rate after eight weeks of treatment with its experimental pill which contains a combination of two drugs.

Sovaldi is expected to dominate the market for hepatitis C medicine and Wall Street analysts are predicting that the pill is likely to generate as much as $9.1 billion in 2017, according to the The Wall Street Journal.