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BMS/ Pharmasset hepatitis C collaboration

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pharmasset have entered an agreement to investigate a combination of oral antivirals in patients with hepatitis C

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Pharmasset have entered a clinical collaboration agreement to investigate a combination of two oral antivirals in patients with hepatitis C.

The agreement will see a joint study to evaluate the combined use of BMS-790052, an NS5A replication complex inhibitor developed by BMS, with PSI-7977, a nucleotide polymerase inhibitor developed by Pharmasset.

This study will investigate the combined therapy's potential to achieve sustained viral response 24 weeks after treatment with an oral, once-daily regimen.

The safety and efficacy of the treatment will be evaluated when used both with and without ribavirin, an antiviral drug currently used in the treatment of hepatitis C.

The trial will commence in the first half of 2011.

"We are pleased to partner with Pharmasset on this important study to advance the scientific understanding of the potential for an all-oral regimen to treat hepatitis C," said Brian Daniels, senior vice president, development at BMS.

"Conducting this study highlights Bristol-Myers Squibb's ability to collaborate with other companies to develop innovative combination therapies in areas of high unmet need."

Dr Michelle Berrey, chief medical officer, Pharmasset, said: "This collaboration represents one of many approaches we are pursuing with our portfolio of nucleoside/tide analogues that include both interferon-free and interferon-sparing regimens. We believe the development of an all oral treatment regimen represents an important evolution in the treatment of hepatitis C virus."

10th January 2011

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