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Human Genome Sciences


confirmed its full-year guidance and provided an update on the development of its hepatitis C drug Albuferon.

The biopharmaceutical company says it expects revenue of around $22 million in 2006, up from $19.1 million last year, plus deferred revenue of $50 million to $100 million, depending on the timing of payments related to Albuferon.

The company also expects to end the year with $725 million to $775 million in cash and investments, depending on the Albuferon payments.

"We have significantly reduced our average annual net cash burn, and have greatly strengthened the HGS balance sheet by monetizing real estate assets," said H. Thomas Watkins, Human Genome's president and CEO.

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Separately, the company announced plans for late-stage Albuferon clinical trials, as well as studies of the drug at higher dosage levels.

Two phase III trials, which Human Genome will conduct with


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, are expected to begin before the end of the year. The trials will evaluate Albuferon given every two weeks in combination with the drug ribavirin in patients with HCV genotypes 1, 2 and 3.

Next year, the company plans to initiate a phase IIb trial of Albuferon in hepatitis C patients who haven't received prior treatments in order to evaluate the drug's effects at a higher dose given once every four weeks.

Shares of Human Genome were up 2% to $12.25 Wednesday.