Goldman Sachs Says Not So Fast On Pharmasset (VRUS)

March 8, 2011 3:32 PM EST
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Analysts at Goldman Sachs issued more cautious comments on Pharmasset, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRUS), which has surged recently after an bullish abstracts from EASL from a combo study of PSI-7977 and PSI-938 was posted online.

Goldman anticipates this combo to yield a high response rate, but states "while the VRUS combo data should be interesting, they still do not answer the "billion dollar" question in hepC – if it is possible to generate SVR's (cures) with an all oral combo regimen without PEG-interferon."

Goldman also states a number of hurdles remain as they believe that nucs must successfully demonstrate: "(1) the ability to suppress virus over longer treatment durations (>14 days) without interferon, (2) tolerability over longer treatment durations in more patients, and (3) comparable or better relapse rates (particularly in early responders, eRVR patients) to protease and non-nuc polymerase regimens."

The firm maintained their Neutral rating on Pharmasset, which jumped 24% yesterday and is up another 8% today.

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