Excitement is growing ahead of the Food and Drug Administration’s decision on Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD )
next generation hepatitis C treatment. Most expect that the regulator
will give the Sovaldi and ledipasvir combination drug the green light
when it makes its decision on October 10, but Gilead isn’t sitting back
on its heels waiting. The company announced this week that it’s also
submitted the Sovaldi and ledipasvir one-drug therapy for approval in
Japan, one of the globe’s biggest markets for hepatitis C treatment.
The move is an important one because it could ultimately allow Gilead to erase Bristol Myers (NYSE: BMY ) early lead in that market, potentially giving Gilead an opportunity to capture billions of dollars in sales.
Bristol’s decision to file for approval first in Japan gives it an early lead
over Gilead, which focused on the U.S. and America instead. But if
Japan approves the Gilead and ledipasvir combination, that lead may fade