Anadys Shares Jump Following Hepatitis C Drug Trial

redwhitepillShares in Anadys Pharmaceuticals rose 28 percent following the announcement of promising results in a clinical trial of its experimental hepatitis C drug ANA773. The short-term, early-stage study found that ANA773 performed significantly better than a placebo in reducing the severity of infection. Patients received the drug every other day for 28 or 10 days. ANA773 was well tolerated, with no major side effects. ANA773 stimulates the patient’s own immune system to block cells infected with hepatitis C from producing more virus particles. The drug works by activating TLR7, a key receptor in immune cells.

Anadys Pharmaceuticals is seeking a partner to help continue the clinical development of ANA773.

Hepatitis C, characterized by the liver damage, is the most common bloodborne infection in the United States. Some patients can clear the infection from their bodies, but 75 to 85 percent of hepatitis C cases become chronic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that 3.2 million people in the U.S. today suffer from chronic hepatitis C. The disease is spread through contact with infected blood, most commonly through injectable drug use or blood transfusions (although the latter has been rare since the early 1990s, as donated blood is now tested for hepatitis C).

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Monogram BiosciencesSciClone Pharmaceuticals, Pharmasset, Metabasis Therapeutics, and Novelos Therapeutics are among several companies developing treatments for the disease.

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