Can this be the beginning of an $11 B hepatitis C mistake? Gilead, after shelling out that much for Pharmasset and its purported GS-7977 wonder drug, has experienced its first set back after the purchase. This morning Gilead announced the 6 of 10 patients with the genotype 1 form of the disease had viral relapses within 4 weeks of ending treatment. So much for permanent cures on oral doses without the use of interferon.
The effect seen in the market today? Shares of Achillion and Idenix Pharmaceuticals shot up as they are developing rival treatments for hep C. Both are looked at as takeover candidates. Shares of Gilead dropped 15%. Hep C buyers might take note when putting together their bids for the former two companies. As Sanofi's CEO Viehbacher noted earlier in the week, the price premiums of these companies in the Hep C market seem overblown.
They used to say nobody gets fired for buying IBM. How about buyers of Pharmasset?
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 17th 2012.