February 21, 2012
Gilead Sciences Inc. on Friday announced that a majority of hepatitis C virus patients in one arm of a clinical trial relapsed after treatment with an experimental drug. Gilead obtained the drug, GS-7977, through its $11 billion purchase of Pharmasset last month. Gilead wants GS-7977 to serve as the anchor for what it hopes will be the first all-oral HCV treatment regimen. The relapses cited involved patients with HCV genotype 1 who previously had little or no response to an interferon-based regimen. The results suggest additional antiviral drugs may be needed, which Gilead said it will be exploring. GS-7977 has shown positive results with other HCV genotypes, including genotypes 2 and 3. Further trial results, including for treatment-naive HCV genotype 1 patients, will be released in the coming months.