Anadys shares climb on upbeat PhII case for hep C drug

Shares of San Diego-based Anadys (NASDAQ: ANDS) got a pre-market bump this morning after the developer announced completed Phase II data for its hepatitis C drug ANA598 and sought to qualm fears about the high placebo response that had earlier spooked investors.

Anadys zeroed in on the high rate of response for patients taking a 200-mg dose of the drug plus standard of care. A total of 73 percent of the patients in that cohort had no detectable levels of the virus after 12 weeks of treatment, compared with 75 percent at the high dose. Patients receiving placebo plus SOC achieved a 63 percent response rate.

Earlier this year Anadys spooked investors with a high placebo response in its mid-stage study. But today the developer says that it can explain the anomaly. An abnormally large number of patients with the IL28B CC genotype were enrolled in the trial, and they have a known high response rate to the standard of care compared to other IL28B genotypes.

"Coupled with the favorable tolerability profile seen at 200 mg bid, we believe that these results establish ANA598 at 200 mg bid as one of the most attractive agents in Phase 2 HCV development today," says CEO Steve Worland, Ph.D. This time Anadys seemed to be making headway with investors. Its shares are up 11 percent.

- here's the Anadys press release
- here's the Reuters story