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Pharmasset Enters Antiviral Research Collaboration with the University of Cincinnati's Genome Research Institute

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Pharmasset, Inc. entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with the University of Cincinnati (UC) on behalf of its Genome Research Institute (GRI).

The purpose of the collaboration between Pharmasset and GRI's drug discovery professionals is to identify active and selective compounds against antiviral targets for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

According to the terms of the agreement, UC granted Pharmasset access to the GRI Lead Generation Library, which includes over 250,000 compounds. Pharmasset will also gain access to GRI's drug discovery capabilities, including high-throughput screening, computational chemistry and in silico docking expertise, which are led by Ruben Papoian, PhD.

UC granted Pharmasset commercial rights for any lead compounds that are identified for HBV, HIV and HCV. Pharmasset will make an annual payment to UC in support of the research collaboration and shall be responsible for all development expenses of products that may result from the collaboration.

If a lead compound progresses through clinical development activities and achieves regulatory approval, Pharmasset will make certain milestone payments and pay a royalty on any net sales of the product. The specific financial terms of the research collaboration and license agreement will not be disclosed.

"The University of Cincinnati's Genome Research Institute has resources and expertise that will expand our discovery efforts," stated Dr. Michael Otto, Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research. "The GRI compound library, drug discovery platform and biology capabilities provide tremendous leverage for our internal efforts. We are very optimistic about the potential of this collaboration."