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Gilead Nears Completion of Pharmasset Deal

[Associated Press]

Published Date: January 12, 2012 07:21:00 AM EST

FOSTER CITY, Calif. (AP) ? Gilead Sciences has acquired about 95 percent of the outstanding shares in Pharmasset as it draws closer to closing its $11 billion deal for the drug developer.

Gilead, based in Foster City, Calif., said about 72 million Pharmasset shares have been tendered. Gilead announced in November that it would pay $137 per share in cash for the, a Princeton, N.J. drug developer.

Pharmasset Inc. has three potential hepatitis C treatments in clinical testing, including a candidate labeled PSI-7977 in late-stage testing. Analysts see promise in the drug because doctors may be able prescribe the pill in a combination with other treatments that does not involve interferon, an injection that comes with rough side effects.

Hepatitis C is a virus that can lead to life-threatening liver damage and is the main cause of liver transplants in the United States. Analysts expect it to become a bigger health problem as baby boomers ages.

Gilead Sciences Inc. plans to buy additional shares of Pharmasset directly from the com

Posted: January 2012