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WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Merck (MRK) today announced it has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb to conduct a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a once-daily oral combination regimen consisting of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s investigational NS5A replication complex inhibitor daclatasvir and Merck's investigational NS3/4A protease inhibitor MK-5172 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, genotype 1.
“In HCV, agreements like this that combine novel investigational candidates are important to evaluate the potential of novel oral regimens early in the development cycle,” said Eliav Barr M.D., vice president, Infectious Diseases, Project Leadership and Management, Merck Research Laboratories. “We are pleased to collaborate with Bristol-Myers Squibb to advance this potential all-oral combination.”
The planned initiation of the Phase II clinical trial follows the completion of a Phase I safety evaluation of the investigational combination regimen. Under the agreement, Merck will conduct the Phase II clinical trial. Further clinical development activities beyond the Phase II study are not covered as part of this agreement. Additional details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
MK-5172 is an investigational orally available HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor currently being evaluated in combination with other approved and investigational medications in Phase II clinical trials. This includes an all oral combination with MK-8742, Merck’s investigational orally available HCV NS5A protease inhibitor.
Merck's Global Commitment to Development of Hepatitis Therapies
Merck is committed to building on its strong legacy in the field of viral hepatitis by continuing to discover, develop and deliver vaccines and medicines to help prevent and treat viral hepatitis. In hepatitis C, company researchers developed the first approved therapy for chronic HCV in 1991 and the first combination therapy in 1998. In addition to ongoing studies for our marketed and investigational medicines for the treatment of chronic HCV, extensive research efforts are underway to develop additional oral therapies for viral hepatitis treatment.
Daclatasvir is an NS5A replication complex inhibitor that is being extensively studied as a key component of potential direct-acting antiviral (DAA) based hepatitis C treatment regimens. Studied in more than 4,100 patients to date, daclatasvir is in Phase III development.
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Merck forward-Looking Statement
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; Merck’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck’s 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).
Caroline Lappetito, (267) 305-7639
Carol Ferguson, (908) 423-4465
Justin Holko, (908) 423-5088
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