Wyeth, ViroPharma drops Hep C drug

After observing serious safety problems in a Phase II trial, Wyeth and ViroPharma are dropping development of HCV-796. In August the companies halted study of the drug when the data showed elevated liver enzyme levels in some patients after eight weeks or more of therapy with HCV-796. Two study subjects experienced serious adverse events and dropped out of the trial. The decision to abandon HVC-796 wasn't a surprise to Wall Street, and analysts don't anticipate the move will have a big impact on ViroPharma's stock.

"Clearly, this is a disappointing outcome for patients suffering from this difficult disease," commented Vincent Milano, ViroPharma's president and chief executive officer. "Significant activities were undertaken to determine a clear path forward for HCV-796; however, the risk associated with potential hepatotoxicity ultimately posed too high of a hurdle to merit further development."

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