IDIX: Fast-Track Status May Begin Major Changes in HCV Treatment

This morning, Idenix Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDIX) announced that the FDA has granted Fast-Track status to their development-stage hepatitis C (HCV) treatment IDX719. The drug is an NSA5 inhibitor that showed positive results in proof-of-concept clinical trials. The company plans to initiate a Phase II study of the treatment in combination with its other HCV product IDX184 by the end of the year. Idenix is focused on finding a simpler, Interferon-free HCV treatment. Interferon, which is naturally found in the human body, can cause severe side effects in treatment such as fever and nausea, and may not be effective in some patients. The company believes that their oral treatments – standard treatments are subcutaneously administered – have the potential to revolutionize standard procedures. The Maxim Group initiated a Buy rating in June and analysts’ average target is $12.80. Shares are up 2% to $10.27 this morning on the FDA status update and will most likely move sideways through the end of the year. The company has one product on the market in partnership with Novartis (NYSE:NVS).