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Biotech Update: Pharmasset’s Hepatitis C Drug Shows 100% Cure Rate in Ph2 Trial
11/9/2011 8:18:00 PM
(By Alexander Crawford)
The landscape of treatment options for hepatitis C is looking brighter – biotech company Pharmasset Inc (VRUS) just released clinical results showing that their experimental drug cured all 40 patients of hepatitis C in a Phase II trial. The company plans to move into the final third phase, with two studies involving 500 and 225 patients each.
This follows two new hepatitis C drugs hitting the market this year – Merck’s (MRK) Victrelis and Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ (VRTX) Incivek. According to Bizmology, neither have as high of a cure rate as Pharmasset’s demonstrated 100% success.
The drug (called PSI-7977) is being studied in Phase III without the common combination with interferon, making it an injection-free treatment possibly with fewer side effects.
Bizmology also reports that other hepatitis C therapies are currently being developed by Inhibitex (INHX), Achillion (ACHN), Roche, and Abbott Labs (ABT), but none of these drugs including PSI-7977 will hit the market until at least 2013.
“Although patient numbers are small, we believe the results are extremely impressive,” Brian Abrahams of Wells Fargo Securities wrote with regard to Pharmasset’s report (via Bloomberg).
How do you think these other contenders will be affected by the promising results of PSI-7977?
For a closer look at the companies involved in therapies for hepatitis C, we list them below.
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