Novartis, Anadys abandon hep C drug

Anadys Pharmaceuticals and its development partner Novartis announced today that they will discontinue the development of ANA975, a Phase I compound for hepatitis C. Results from two 13-week toxicology studies did not support further development of the drug. In 2005 Novartis and Anadys inked a $570 million licensing deal for the drug, but problems arose last summer when a Phase I study of the drug was halted because preclinical animal data demonstrated an "intense immune stimulation."

"Although we are disappointed to discontinue development of ANA975, our animal toxicology results have convinced us that chronic daily dosing of this compound is inappropriate for further clinical development," said Lawrence C. Fritz, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Anadys.

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