Inhibitex Soars as Investors See Another Pharmasset in the Making
Updated with stock price.
The Inhibitex drug INX-189 belongs to the same "nucleoside" class of potent oral hepatitis C drugs as Pharmasset's (VRUS) heralded PSI-7977. The difference, of course, is that Inhibitex's market value is $300 million, or at least it was going into Friday's trading. Pharmasset's market value is close to $6 billion.
Investors are hoping that the magical Hep C pixie dust that has made Pharmasset the best-performing biotech stock this year will work its charms on Inhibitex as well.Inhibitex shares soared 127% to $9.01 in mid-day trading after the company reported a 4.25 log drop in Hep C viral load after 7 days of treatment with a 200 mg dose of INX-189 in treatment-naive patients. No serious adverse events were reported. That result is comparable to the viral load decline demonstrated by Pharmasset's PSI-7977 in an earlier study. Nucleoside or "nucs" have become the belles of the Hep C drug ball because of their potential as a backbone of future all-oral combination Hep C therapy. Pharmasset's nuc PSI-7977 has garnered the most attention, but companies like Inhibitex and Idenix Pharmaceuticals ( IDIX) are also developing their own Hep C nucs. Pharmasset shares were down 4% to $74.80 in early Friday trading, likely due to competitive concerns stemming from the INX-189 data. In Friday's release, Inhibitex said it was moving forward with new studies of INX-189 including one in combination with an another undisclosed direct-acting antiviral Hep C drug. The new Inhibitex data on INX-189 comes on the eve of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) annual meeting, which will feature important presentations of new hepatitis C drug research. --Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.
>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/adamfeuerstein. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV