Pharmasset touts promising PhIIa hep C data

Pharmasset (NASDAQ: VRUS) touted a promising batch of mid-stage data for its hepatitis C therapy and promised to swiftly pivot into a Phase IIb trial that could provide longer-term feedback on efficacy and safety.

After 28 days of therapy, 88 percent of patients taking 100 mg of PSI-7977 had undetectable levels of the virus. That figure rose to 94 percent at a 200 mg dose and 93 percent for 400 mg. That compares to only 21 percent of the patients in the placebo group whose virus levels dropped below the detection level.

Most adverse events reported were mild with a few moderate complaints. No serious side effects were recorded. Princeton, NJ-based Pharmasset's shares were down slightly this morning.

"Our platform technology continues to generate nucleoside/tide analogs with a high degree of efficacy, high barrier to resistance, and a safety profile that we believe differentiates them from other classes of direct acting antivirals," said Pharmasset CMO M. Michelle Berrey. "We plan to quickly progress PSI-7977 into Phase IIb studies starting in the fourth quarter 2010, to generate longer term efficacy and safety data."

- check out Pharmasset's press release
- here's the Reuters story