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Hepatitis C: JNJ Approved, GILD Next

|Includes: GILD, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)

On Friday, the FDA approved JNJ's simeprevir (Olysio) for treatment of Genotype 1 Hepatitis C patients, in combination with ribavirin and interferon. Pre-screening for a genetic polymorphism more common in Genotype 1a will exclude some patients. I believe that the near term greatest potential for Olysio will be in off-label combination with GILD's soon to be approved sofosbuvir, based on the COSMOS study. Also, we shall have definitive pricing information for both drugs in the upcoming weeks. I expect analysts to increase projections for this market, which I forecast to become the largest pharmaceutical category in history.

Disclosure: I am long JNJ, GILD.