The euphoria over Gilead Sciences'
But they got a reminder of reality today, when Pharmasset announced it was discontinuing all treatment arms in one of its phase 2b trials that contain the drug PSI-938. The drug candidate caused laboratory abnormalities in tests associated with liver function.
This is nothing new.
Pfizer could be further along in the hepatitis C race if ViroPharma and Wyeth's HCV-796 hadn't died back in 2008, before Pfizer bought Wyeth. HCV-796 suffered from the same potential liver issues as PSI-938. Ditto for InterMune
And the list goes on. Boehringer Ingelheim had problems with one of its protease inhibitors. And trials involving Idenix Pharmaceuticals'
Does the failure of PSI-938 and all the aforementioned compounds mean that Inhibitex
But the failure is a reminder that long-term safety data is still very important to get a drug through the clinical development marathon. Today's drops are justified because the companies were overhyped to begin with. Investors would be well served putting down the acquisition-euphoria Kool-Aid and picking up a history book.
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