J&J, Medivir get EU nod for their hep C drug Olysio

The horse race for oral treatments of chronic hepatitis C entered another turn today as the European Union recommended approval of Olysio, the Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Medivir entry in the high-stakes derby, Bloomberg reports. The FDA approved the drug in November. Olysio can cut the current treatment time in half to 24 weeks but it is up against Gilead Sciences's ($GILD) hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi, which does the same in just 12 weeks. Those two and other drugmakers are working on drug cocktails that would allow them to not only cure the disease but also to be used without the difficult-to-tolerate standard drug interferon. Sovaldi sales have already taken off and the drug is expected to eventually top Lipitor as the best-selling drug of all time. It is projected to hit $9 billion in sales by 2017. Story | More