Doubts arise on Idenix’s hepatitis drug

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc. sank the most in eight months as investors speculated the Cambridge company’s experimental hepatitis C treatment may face hurdles. The shares had tripled in the 12 months before Wednesday. Roche Holding reported an “unacceptable relapse rate’’ for patients on a combination of medicines that Brean Murray Carret & Co. analyst Brian Skorney called a “good surrogate for any oral combination that includes IDX184,’’ Idenix’s medicine. “We believe Idenix will need to explore regimens with durations of greater than 12 weeks to be effective,’’ Skorney wrote. “We believe this could significantly delay clinical development and makes IDX184 substantially less attractive.’’

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