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Roche Issues Hepatitis Drug Data

Pharmasset (VRUS), which partners with Roche to develop chronic hepatitis C drug R7128, presented data Friday on a phase I 14-day monotherapy study of patients who failed to respond to standard therapy. Pharmassest said there was a 99% mean decrease in HCV with no serious adverse events. (Pharmasset divulged positive preliminary results for the study in September.) The companies are hoping those results will translate when the drug is used in combination with other therapies for a longer duration in a previously untreated population.

Gilead (GILD - Get Report), Idenix, (IDIX) and ViroPharma (VPHM - Get Report) are also developing candidates in a class of antivirals called polymerase inhibitors for hepatitis C virus.

Vertex (VRTX - Get Report), which is presenting at AASLD as well, also dished hepatitis C data for its Telaprevir on Friday.

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