BMS and J&J in collaboration against Hepatitis-C

Bristol Myers Squibb officeBristol Myers Squibb (BMS) Co. and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have plans to work together in order to develop medicine for hepatitis-C.

This new medicine will work to block different proteins as opposed to the traditional treatments for this liver disease caused by the hepatitis-C virus.

Bristol-Myers said on Friday its drugs daclatasir (BMS-790052) and its NS5A replication complex inhibitor would be experienced in combination with a NS3 protease inhibitor called TMC435 being developed by J&J’s Tibotec pharmaceuticals unit.

Trials will be started in the first half of 2012. The companies will start testing the various combinations of the medicines against genotype-1 i.e. most widespread and virulent strain of hepatitis-C.

According to experts, any drug coming in collaboration of BMS and J&J would be a strong rival to Vertex medicine, which has been taken in combination with the older drugs like pegylated interferon and ribavirin. However, interferon cause flu-like symptoms and could lead to discontinuance of the treatment and that is why many companies are trying to develop interferon free therapeutic strategy for hepatitis-C and according to some analysts the product with such therapy could enter a $20 billion market by 2020.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb is dedicated to developing innovative treatment options for patients with serious diseases like HCV,” said Brian Daniels, senior vice president, Development. “We are pleased to work with Tibotec to advance the scientific understanding for the potential for an all-oral regimen of direct acting antivirals, which would be an important advancement for patients with HCV. This is a continuation of our leadership in forging partnerships to advance combination antiviral therapy.”

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