Pharmasset striding into Ph3 to lead pack of oral Hep C drug developers

Pharmasset ($VRUS) has grabbed a leading post in the race for new oral therapies against the hepatitis C virus, initiating a Phase III program involving a combo of its experimental drug PSI-7977 and ribavirin. Importantly, the combo requires no injections of interferon like current therapies for the liver-damaging disease. And no other contenders in this race--which includes such firms as Vertex Pharmaceuticals ($VRTX), Abbott Labs ($ABT) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY)--have yet reached Phase III with their own oral drugs for hep C. Article