Following the publication (Wednesday 25 September) of new Phase II data for Takeda’s TAK-620 (maribavir) as treatment for cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in recipients of hematopoietic cell or solid organ transplant;
Paul Jeng, Senior Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his perspective:
“TAK-620 performed favorably in virus clearance compared to the existing standard of care valganciclovir, supporting its potential to be the first new antiviral therapeutic for CMV to be approved in nearly two decades. However, the CMV therapeutics market is controlled by relatively cheap generic antivirals such as ganciclovir and valganciclovir, which are unlikely to lose existing patient share to TAK-620 due to established efficacy and physician familiarity. GlobalData projects global sales for TAK-620 to exceed $7m by 2027, accounting for 3.2% of the overall CMV therapeutics market.
“There are nearly 5,000 cases of CMV infections in recipients of hematopoietic stem cell or solid organ transplant in the seven major markets (7MM*) each year. TAK-620 is expected to fill a small but important role in treating those patients whose infections are relapsed or resistant to existing antivirals.
“TAK-620 acts through a novel mechanism by disrupting viral DNA packaging and viral egress rather than DNA replication. The Phase II trial was noted for some safety and tolerability considerations, including adverse taste disturbance events that have plagued the drug since early clinical testing. However, importantly TAK-620 was not associated with intolerable myelosuppression or renal impairment characteristic of existing antivirals, indicating its potential for use in immunocompromised patients.”
*7MM = US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK and Japan