Future of Bristol’s Daclatasvir in HCV Unclear; Gilead, Inhibitex, Achillion Well-Positioned

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s ability to compete in the hepatitis C (HCV) market remains tenuous as competitor Gilead pulls ahead in the race to develop an all-oral regimen for the liver disease.

Bristol is left with a limited number of unpartnered assets to replace BMS-986094, its nucleotide polymerase (NS5B) inhibitor. The company recently suspended a Phase IIb trial in order to investigate a case of heart failure in a patient treated with the highest dose. This also calls the company’s acquisition strategy into question. The asset was the main driver of Bristol’s $2.5 billion purchase of Inhibitex.

Gilead, Vertex and Idenix are among companies developing drugs that would compete with BMS-986094. The development of an effective once-daily oral combination regimen that targets all genetic types of HCV has become a major goal for companies in the space.

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