The upcoming US market launches of two new hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments will result in current triple- and dual-therapy regimens losing considerable market share, according to new research from BioTrends Research Group.

Following the launches of Gilead’s sofosbuvir and Janssen/Medivir’s simeprevir, the currently-marketed triple-therapy regimens based on Vertex’s Incivek (telaprevir) and Merck & Co’s Victrelis (boceprevir), and dual-therapy HCV regimens, will lose market share to these new arrivals, says the study.

When asked about treatment practices in the next six months, physicians surveyed for the study reported that they plan to treat 17% of their genotype 1 and 21% of their actively-treated genotype 2/3 HCV patients with a sofosbuvir- and/or simeprevir-containing regimen.

The study also finds that the majority of surveyed US physicians report, unaided, that they are currently “warehousing” HCV patients in anticipation of new therapies, with nearly 30% of this warehousing specifically attributed to waiting for access to sofosbuvir/polymerase inhibitors. 

While most surveyed physicians said that they are warehousing treatment-naive and treatment-experienced patients as they wait for the approval of simeprevir, sofosbuvir and/or other interferon-free therapy options, only 12% of surveyed physicians indicated that they are satisfied with currently-approved therapies, it adds.

“In anticipation of availability of new directly-acting antivirals, the shift in the HCV treatment paradigm is already apparent,” said BioTrends Research Group analyst Sandra Renz.

“With the imminent approval of simeprevir and sofosbuvir – agents offering potentially shorter treatment duration, possible interferon-free regimens, improved safety and tolerability profiles and higher cure rates – physicians are eagerly awaiting these new regimens and holding off on prescribing treatment until they are part of the arsenal,” she added.

The study also finds that at least one-third of surveyed physicians have received a patient request for one of the currently-available HCV brands in the past month. Further, a subset of surveyed doctors has already received patient requests for sofosbuvir and simeprevir, suggesting that awareness of these products exists among patients even ahead of their anticipated US launch later this year, it adds.