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Exclusive: Enanta Pharmaceuticals CEO Jay Luly Discusses Hep C Pipeline

Exclusive: Enanta Pharmaceuticals CEO Jay Luly Discusses Hep C Pipeline

The hepatitis C industry has been on fire since Merck (NYSE: MRK) paid a 230 percent premium for pharmaceutical company Idenix (NASDAQ: IDIX).

Benzinga spoke to Enanta (NASDAQ: ENTA) CEO Jay Luly about possibilities for his firm, which has one of the most expansive hepatitis C pipelines of all publicly traded companies.

“Many discussions with investors and media tend to focus on the most advanced,” stated Luly, regarding the pipeline components. “I think a piece of what we’re doing that puts us in a little bit of a different position is that we have many different approaches toward HCV, and we’ve put them in different places.

“We have two different combinations moving forward with AbbVie... and we have another combination moving forward with Novartis, and then we have two other proprietary programs that we have not partnered,” said Luly. Enanta may look to partner the bottom two pipeline components, but wants to, “get into the clinic and generate some value creating data before we get into those kind of discussions.”

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A new drug application was filed for the most developed protease inhibitor earlier this year. Luly commented: “We have been working on this for a long, long time, and our partnership with AbbVie, and its finally coming to fruition. Later this year we should be getting the US approval and a launch.”

Although other pharmaceutical companies, such as Achillion (NASDAQ: ACHN), have hepatitis C products on the market, Enanta is targeting the hard to treat market. Most of these patients have been unsuccessfully treated with other solutions in the past.

Showing the range of Enanta, Luly reached outside of the hep C space, “we have also got an antibiotic for a serious bacterial infection in our pipeline. Most people people don’t get that far down our pipeline chart to realize that.”

Enanta has been one of the best performing stocks for the first two quarters of 2014, shares are up 54 percent to $42.26.

Editors note: This is the second part of the series with Enanta CEO Jay Luly. Be sure to read about Luly’s comments on valuation.


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