Biotech stocks improved over last week's dubious results on a better-looking Monday for the sector as the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference kicked off in San Francisco with opening presentations and announcements.InterMune ( ITMN) rose after announcing that in early stage testing, its candidate ITMN 191, a monotherapy for patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus, met its goal. The company will progress to early stage testing of the drug in combination with standard of care. The company, which is developing the drug with Roche, said that it's on track to announce top-line data and safety results from at least three doses in previously untreated patients as part of the ongoing MAD clinical study in the first quarter. Shares added $4.27, or 31.9%, to $17.64, helping to propel the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was up 8.39, or 1%, at 831.17. In other Hepatitis C treatment news, Pharmasset ( VRUS) was rising on Monday with postitive data for a short-term, early stage study on its hepatitis C candidate, R7128, for which it's also developing with Roche. The company said that in a four-week, 50 patient trial of R7128 in combination with standard of care, 85% of patients given a 1,500 milligram dose and 30% given a 500 milligram dose had undetectable levels of the virus after four weeks. Safety and tolerability of the Pharmasset drug combination were comparable to placebo.