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Pharmasset Inc.
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Founded 1998
Headquarters Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Key people Raymond Schinazi
Dennis Liotta

Pharmasset Inc. is a pharmaceutical company based in Princeton, New Jersey in the United States. The company develops antiviral drugs for HIV (including racivir), hepatitis B (including clevudine, marketed as Levovir), and hepatitis C.[1] In November 2011, Pharmasset was acquired by Gilead for $11 billion.[2]


Pharmasset was founded in 1998 by Dr. Raymond Schinazi and Dr. Dennis Liotta, scientists at Emory University, which has multiple license agreements with Pharmasset.[3] The company was initially incorporated in Barbados (as Pharmasset, Ltd.) and separately in Georgia. However, the company was redomiciled as a Delaware corporation on June 8, 2004.[4]

Pharmasset's initial public offering took place on April 27, 2007, when it was first listed on NASDAQ.[5] The firm's stock return in the first three fiscal quarters (nine months) of 2011 was 278 percent. Among analysts, 17 rated the company's stock as "strong buy" or "buy," while two rated it a "hold." Pharmasset was the best performer in this period among all major U.S. exchanges among stocks trading for at least $1.50 on January 1, 2011.[6]


The company describes itself as being a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company and states that its primary focus is "the development of oral therapeutics for the treatment of hepatitis C virus."[7] The company's secondary focus is the development of Racivir, an investigational antiretroviral drug for the treatment of HIV. The company's research and development concentrates on nucleoside analogs.[8] Pharmasset's PSI-7977 medication is a promising experimental drug for the treatment of hepatitis C.[9][10] PSI-7977 has been a "closely watched drug candidate in the white-hot HepC market."[11]

Among Pharmasset's competitors are Abbott Laboratories,[12] Merck & Co., and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.[13]


  1. ^ "Pharmasset Inc (VRUS:US)." Bloomberg.
  2. ^ Tom Murphy (November 21, 2011). "Gilead Sciences to buy Pharmasset for $11 billion". Bloomberg Businessweek. 
  3. ^ "Pharmasset Inc." The Science Coalition.
  4. ^ Pharmasset Inc. Form 10-K (annual report filed 12/31/07 for the period ending 09/30/07).
  5. ^ "Pharmasset Announces Second Fiscal Quarter 2007 Financial Results" (June 11, 2007) (press release). Pharmasset Inc.
  6. ^ Brian Richards. "With 9 Months Down, These Are the Best Stocks of 2011" (October 3, 2011). The Motley Fool.
  7. ^ "Corporate Overview - Pharmasset, Inc.." - Pharmasset, Inc.
  8. ^ "About Us." Pharmasset Inc.
  9. ^ Chris Staiti. "Pharmasset Rises on Positive Results for Hepatitis C Drug" (September 30, 2011). Bloomberg.
  10. ^ "PSI-7977" (last revised June 28, 2011). Pharmasset Inc.
  11. ^ Ryan McBride. "Pharmasset impresses with oral HepC treatment." FierceBiotech.
  12. ^ Pat Wechsler, "Pharmasset Falls on Rival Abbott Hepatitis C Therapy Results" (October 21, 2011). Bloomberg.
  13. ^ "Pharmasset expands hepatitis C trial; shares rise" (October 10, 2011). Reuters.

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