Health

GlobeImmune Hep B Drug Fails Mid-Stage Study, Shares Plunge

Gilead Sciences Inc. headquarters in Foster City, Calif., is seen Thursday, March 12, 2009. Biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc. said Thursday it will buy CV Therapeutics for about $1.4 billion as a wave of consolidation in the drug industry continues. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Gilead Sciences Inc. headquarters in Foster City, Calif., is seen Thursday, March 12, 2009. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

 

(Reuters) – Drug developer GlobeImmune Inc said its experimental hepatitis B drug did not reduce infection in patients after 24 weeks of treatment in a mid-stage study, sending the company’s shares down as much as 60 percent to a record low.

GlobeImmune, which is developing the drug with Gilead Sciences Inc, is among several drugmakers looking to tap the demand for hepatitis B treatments as hepatitis C drugs flood the market.

Hepatitis B is being seen as the next big opportunity in the liver disease market as it is the most common liver infection, affecting about 400 million people worldwide.

However, hepatitis B infection is much more difficult to treat than hepatitis C.

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