12:00 AM
 | 
Oct 01, 2001
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Gaucher rivals still hard to compare

Four basic factors affect the success of drugs: efficacy, safety, convenience of administration and price. Investors in Genzyme General have been watching the progress of Oxford GlycoSciences plc's Vevesca to treat Gaucher disease to determine whether Vevesca will pose a threat to GENZ's Cerezyme franchise.

Last week Oxford GlycoSciences (LSE:OGS, OGSI, Abingdon, U.K.) reported positive 24-month results from an ongoing open-label extension of its completed Phase II trial of Vevesca (Study 001). But a true side-by-side comparison is not yet available to allow investors to make a clear judgment call.

Gaucher, which results from a deficiency of glucocerebrosidase, is characterized by enlarged liver, spleen and other organs. To date, Cerezyme has scored better results in the clinic as measured by reductions in organ volume and other measures (see "Vevesca Data" and "Cerezyme Data").

But OGS argues that such a comparison is misleading. According to Clinical Director Chris Moyses, patients who received Cerezyme had much larger liver and spleen sizes at baseline compared to patients entering any of the Vevesca trials.

"Comparing the two is an apples and oranges comparison, because we know that the relative reductions in organ size are very...

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