A dual treatment option for a deadly strain of hepatitis C has received approval from the China Food and Drug Administration, opening a new market for its maker, New Jersey-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said.
The treatment involves the simultaneous use of two oral medications from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daklinza and Sunvepra, in patients infected with genotype 1b chronic hepatitis C, according to a company press release. The results of two Phase 3 clinical trials showed the combination can cut treatment duration by at least half.
Murdo Gordon, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, characterized the approval for patients in China, now one of dozens of countries granting approval, as an expansion of efforts to combat other hepatitis strains.
“We are proud to build on our legacy, infrastructure and experience in treating viral hepatitis throughout Asia by bringing Daklinza-based regimens to patients in China,” Gordon said in the releaset. “Beginning with our efforts to treat chronic hepatitis B, Bristol-Myers Squibb has been committed to combating viral hepatitis in China for over a decade.”
According to the World Health Organization, many of the world’s 400 million hepatitis suffers don’t know they are infected. Like other forms of the condition, hepatitis C attacks the liver and can be spread primarily through contaminated blood transfusions and IV drug use.