Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Johnson & Johnson said Friday they will work together to develop experimental treatments for hepatitis C virus. BMS said its drugs daclatasir (BMS-790052) and its NS5A replication complex inhibitor will be tested in combination with the NS3 protease inhibitor (TMC435) under development by J&J's Tibotec unit. Beginning in the first half of 2012, the medicines, which seek to block different proteins than those usually targeted by HCV treatments, will be tested in various combinations among patients with genotype 1, the most common and hard-to-treat HCV strain. Several companies are working to develop HCV treatments that do not include interferon, whose flu-like side effects cause many patients to avoid or discontinue treatment.
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