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Merck Gets Thumbs-Up on HCV Drug From FDA Panel

Xconomy New York — 

An FDA advisory panel unanimously recommended the agency approve Merck’s (NYSE: MRK) boceprevir (Victrelis) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infection in combination with standard therapy, according to a press release. Although the FDA is not required to follow the advice of its advisory panels, it usually does. And if the drug is approved in mid-May, when the company expects the decision, Wall Street analysts will be thrilled: Six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted sales of the drug will be more than $604 million in 2013.