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NICE issues final appraisals for HBV drugs

June 25, 2008 12:23 AM UTC

The U.K.'s NICE issued final appraisal determinations on two HBV drugs, recommending Baraclude entecavir from Bristol-Myers (NYSE:BMY) but not Sebivo telbivudine from Novartis (NYSE:NVS; SWX:NOVN). The appraisal committee recommended NHS coverage of Baraclude to treat chronic HBV patients who are hepatitis B e antigen (HbeAG)-positive and HbeAG-negative. The appraisal reversed an initial decision to not recommend the cyclopentile guanosine nucleoside analog for HbeAG-negative patients. The committee reiterated its initial negative opinion for Sebivo (See BioCentury Extra, Wednesday, April 09, 2008).

Sebivo, which is marketed as Tyzeka in the U.S., was co-developed by Idenix (NASDAQ:IDIX). Novartis has worldwide rights to commercialize the nucleoside analog. On Tuesday, Idenix was off $0.14 to $6.24. ...