Back to top

Analyst Blog

ViroPharma Inc. recently announced the initiation of a phase II program. The phase II program will evaluate maribavir for the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in transplant recipients.

Two independent phase II studies will be conducted under the program. The first independent clinical study will include subjects who have asymptomatic CMV. ViroPharma intends to enroll 160 subjects who have CMV viremia but do not have CMV organ disease.

In this study, subjects cannot have CMV infection that is resistant to other anti-CMV agents. Patients in this study will be randomized to receive either oral maribavir (400mg, 800mg or 1200mg) or valganciclovir for up to 12 weeks. The study will monitor blood levels of CMV DNA.

The second study will include treatment-failed patients. ViroPharma is planning to enroll 120 subjects who have demonstrated CMV viremia with or without CMV organ disease. In the study, subjects will be randomized to receive one of the three dosages of oral maribavir for up to 24 weeks. This study will monitor blood levels of CMV DNA.

Maribavir has been granted orphan drug status in the US for the treatment of clinically significant CMV and disease in at-risk patients.

Apart from maribavir, ViroPharma is working on the development of other pipeline candidates like VP 20621 (management of C. difficile infection) and VP20629 (treatment of Friedreich’s Ataxia).

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on ViroPharma. The stock carries a Zacks #4 Rank (Sell rating) in the short-run. The company suffered a setback in April when the FDA denied the company’s March 2006 citizen petition related to the FDA’s proposed in vitro method for determining bioequivalence of abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) referencing Vancocin (vancomycin).

Moreover, generic players like Watson Pharma and Akorn have launched their generic versions of Vancocin. We expect rapid erosion in Vancocin sales given the entry of generic competition.

Please login to Zacks.com or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research

Close

Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to Zacks.com?

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Zacks.com. Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
CITI TRENDS… CTRN 21.53 +5.49%
GTT COMMUNI… GTT 11.65 +4.11%
ALLERGAN IN… AGN 161.82 +3.99%
WILLIAMS(C)… CWEI 117.06 +3.73%
FIRSTSERVIC… FSRV 54.81 +2.62%