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AVI Biopharma's

(AVII)

shares fell Wednesday after the company reported disappointing clinical trial results on its proposed hepatitis C drug.

During a study involving 12 patients with chronic active hepatitis C, the drug, known as AVI-4065, failed to reach its effectiveness target. AVI was down 29 cents, or 8.5%, to $3.14.

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Specifically, patients receiving the drug reached a peak plasma concentration, a measure of a drug's absorption in the body, of 2 micrograms per milliliter compared with the expected 3.5 micrograms per milliliter during 14 days of treatment.

The results supported previously announced data, AVI said in a press release. However, the drug did demonstrate some effect on hepatitis C infection. No serious side effects or tolerability issues were observed during or after the treatment.

"Although it is always disappointing not to achieve clear clinical success on an initial trial targeting a new disease, it is encouraging that we observed a significant pharmacodynamic effect that we believe can be fine-tuned to provide a clinical benefit," said Dr. Denis Burger, AVI's CEO.