Long-term toxicology studies started on HCV drug.

Pharmasset and Roche have initiated long-term chronic toxicology studies in two animal species for the development of a HCV candidate as part of their collaboration. Roche will pay $7.5 million as a milestone fee. The compound, R7128, is currently in a Phase I trial. The primary objective of the toxicology research is to assess the safety of the drug when given for six months.

“As we progress with the ongoing 14-day multiple ascending dose study of R7128, we are encouraged that Roche has initiated the long-term chronic toxicology studies in support of the potential advancement of R7128 into Phase II clinical trials,” states Schaefer Price, Pharmasset’s president and CEO.

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