Leading up to this month's International Liver Congress and the presentation of yet more impressive clinical data on its promising hepatitis C candidates, Pharmasset was the stand out performer from the small, micro and nano stocks during the first quarter. Shares closed at a record high of $78.71, valuing the New Jersey company with just phase II assets at a very impressive $2.9bn.
Other notable and perhaps surprising gainers were: Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Depomed, Pernix Therapeutics and KV Pharmaceutical, even after the latter's recent declines on the back of some damaging publicity. Meanwhile the largely predictable regulatory setbacks to Orexigen Therapeutics’ obesity candidate and MannKind’s inhaled insulin have left the companies assessing their next moves. And late stage clinical failures were particularly severe on Renovo, Inspire Pharmaceuticals and Xoma (see tables below).