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Leonard Yaffe
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I am an MD by background who runs a healthcare hedge fund. I worked as a sell-side medical analyst for 20 years, covering pharmaceuticals, medical devices, PBMs and drug distributors.
  • Hepatitis C Update 0 comments
    Nov 11, 2013 11:05 AM | about stocks: OSUR, GILD, JNJ

    Last Friday, I attended the California Forum on Hepatitis C Screening and Treatment. In attendance were clinicians and, importantly, policy makers. I make the latter distinction because policy decisions will greatly influence Hepatitis C screening and treatment. My conclusions are as follows:

    1. Hepatitis C screening in the 1945-'65 birth year cohort is very supported, including on an objective $/QALY, as it is cost-effective on this basis at $36k, which compares favorably with screening for colorectal cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer. Furthermore, the USPTF's Grade B designation will facilitate screening as well. This should be a positive for OSUR.

    2. Screening of the 1945-65 cohort could result in an incremental 800k cases of Hepatitis C being identified.

    3. It is possible that Medicare coverage for HCV testing will occur in 2014.

    4. The AASLD and IDSA have formed a joint committee to make recommendations for Hepatitis C treatment. It is likely that one recommendation will be to support the use of sofosbuvir (NASDAQ:GILD) in combination with simeprevir (NYSE:JNJ) in Genotype 1 patients, off label, based on the COSMOS study. I view this as potentially very positive for both GILD and JNJ.

    5. The pharmacoeconomic data in support of treating Hepatitis C are quite compelling.

    6. I commend Kaiser of California for the Hepatitis C program they have put in place.

    Disclosure: I am long OSUR, GILD, JNJ.

    Themes: Hepatitis C Stocks: OSUR, GILD, JNJ
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