In one of the worst kept secrets of the year, new data shows that Pharmasset's combo oral approach to hepatitis C triggered the complete elimination of the virus in 15 of 16 patients after only 14 days of treatment. And the startling results, which were supposed to be kept under wraps in a blanket embargo lowered by the European Association for the Study of the Liver, spurred a quick spike in Pharmasset shares as word of the outcome spread swiftly among investors.
As Adam Feuerstein at TheStreet notes, this is the best such early-stage data released on an oral drug for hepatitis C. And the PSI-938 and PSI-7977 one-two punch eliminates the need for interferon, which is linked to a number of side effects among patients. That's the kind of news investors like to hear about early on, and the data--which is easily available online--spurred an increase of more than 32 percent in Pharmasset shares ($VRUS) over the first two days of the week.
You have to be careful when reading this stuff. I have applied for the phase 2 trial of these drugs and I know I won't be acceped. After talking to the trial people I came away with the fact they are very picky about who they accept into their trial. So that 15 of 16 people can be somewhat misleading. Who knows the 15 may have been very low viral loads and no IR and all the other things that make for a great outlook for SVR. The next question is what has happened to these people after the 14 day clearence? Did the virus come back or has it stayed clear? These are the things you never can find out and it drives me nuts. Still the news is good and I still hope I can get into the trial.
14 days is not long enough to draw any conclusions. I was in a telaprevir + ifn trial and was clear at day 15. By day 20 I was having a breakthrough.
This news sounds like it was a manipulation of the share price, nothing more.
Having said that, I actually do think that Pharmasset are going to make it big with PSI-7977. They already have a proven track record with R7128. Have you seen all the various trial combinations they are doing at the moment? They are testing this drug upside down. There's no way that they are not going to end up with a winning combo, even if they do have to include ifn for part of the tx.
thanks i can see how you are thinking- i just did my load test this week - waiting on results.
i was down to 5oo0 two years ago then up to 20K lat year, still VERY low. i am interested to see where we are now.
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