Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. said today it has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company to conduct second, all-oral studies of the former's VX-135 drug with the latter's drug, daclatasvir, for the treatment of hepatitis C.
As part of the agreement, Vertex plans to conduct two of these studies of the combination, including an initial study in treatment-naive people with genotype 1 HCV infection planned for the second quarter of this year.
Vertex will also begin a subsequent study in treatment-naive people infected with genotype 1, 2 or 3 of hepatitis C, including those with cirrhosis, in the second half of the year, pending data from the initial study.
"With more than 170 million people infected worldwide, there is a critical need for new hepatitis C medicines that can offer people simpler and more tolerable treatment regimens that provide high cure rates," said Vertex's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Kauffman. ___