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HGSI off on Albuferon Phase IIb data

March 15, 2006 2:19 AM UTC

Human Genome (HGSI) fell $2.78 (20%) to $10.89 on 28 million shares on Tuesday after the company reported interim results from a Phase IIb trial of Albuferon albumin-interferon alpha to treat HCV genotype 1 infection in interferon-naive patients. Data at 12 weeks from the open-label, international trial in 458 patients showed that 75% of patients receiving 1,200 ug Albuferon every 14 days achieved viral load below the level of quantitation vs. 66% of patients receiving the active control of 180 ug weekly doses of Pegasys (p=0.15). The figures were 69% for patients receiving 900 ug Albuferon every 14 days (p=0.55 vs. Pegasys) and 53% for patients receiving 1,200 ug Albuferon every 28 days (p=0.056 vs. Pegasys). All treatment groups are receiving a weight-based dose of daily ribavirin at 1,000 or 1,200 mg in two divided doses. Investors told BioCentury that they had been looking for 28-day dosing at least as good as once-weekly Pegasys. The company said the data suggested higher doses will be required to optimize a 28-day dosing schedule. ...