Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s HCV ambitions did not die with Inhibitex Inc.'s INX-189. The pharma believes its next choice for all-oral regimen involving NS3 protease, NS5A protein and non-nucleoside NS5B inhibitors has the safety and convenience to compete with more advanced rivals in HCV genotype 1 infection.
Last week, BMS said the triple combination achieved competitive SVR rates in a Phase IIa trial.
When INX-189 (BMS-986094) imploded last August, it seemed to leave a hole in BMS's HCV portfolio based on the conventional wisdom that a nucleoside NS5B polymerase inhibitor must be the backbone of an all-oral, interferon-free HCV regimen (see BioCentury, Sept. 10, 2012).
Moreover, the competition would be stretching out its lead.