November 8, 2014

Published on Nov 8, 2014

Moderator Michael W. Fried, MD outlines the topics presented at this year's AASLD Hepatitis C Special Interest Group program, including access to medication and unique populations that have been difficult to treat.

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Presented: Sunday, November 9, 2014, 4:00 pm Eastern - Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

BOSTON, Nov. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic liver disease that is found more frequently in women than men. Researchers at Indiana University studied the environmental exposures possibly related to autoimmune hepatitis and reported their findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. "Interestingly, autoimmune hepatitis is quite far behind other autoimmune liver diseases in terms of environmental risk assessment," said Craig Lammert, MD, principal investigator on the study.

In addition to assessing the environmental exposures, the research team used social media and Amazon Mechanical Turk to conduct two independent surveys. "Social media in clinical research is an evolving field. We have only just started to tap into the diverse application of this platform and clinical studies," said Dr. Lammert, "It will grow, and, I suspect, it will change some of the ways we conduct future studies."

Seven autoimmune hepatitis social media groups -- referred to in the study as cases -- were identified. Amazon Mechanical Turk is a crowdsourcing website used to connect work requesters with a freelance workforce, and this system was used to identify healthy participants for the control group.

Using this system, 430 dietary (152 cases from the social media groups/278 controls from Amazon Mechanical Turk) and 390 tobacco surveys (164 cases from the social media groups/ 226 controls from Amazon Mechanical Turk) were completed over one month and returned for statistical analysis.

There was no difference in coffee consumption, other aspects of diet, or smoking with the exception that those in the control group were more likely to be current smokers. However, a significantly lower number of cases reported breast feeding as infants than those in the control group -- 49 percent compared with 65 percent. According to Dr. Lammert, "This is the first time we have seen this inverse association with breast feeding and autoimmune hepatitis. We became interested in this idea, as there have been similar associations reported in the literature for other autoimmune diseases -- but none associated with the liver."

The study demonstrates two distinctly different facts -- the feasibility of using social media for conducting such research and the relationship between breastfeeding and autoimmune hepatitis. "Social media is an amazing tool, our group has and will continue to utilize it to study autoimmune hepatitis," said Dr. Lammert, "but we have learned that these studies must be completed carefully. A limitation is the challenge of patient-reported disease and data; however, we believe with structured and listed inclusion and exclusion criteria, we can adequately conduct epidemiologic research in this manner."

Dr. Lammert concluded by saying, "There have not been sizeable or high-quality studies examining the environmental exposure risks in autoimmune hepatitis. We plan to conduct follow-up studies to attempt to replicate this finding but also dissect the mechanism for the observed effect."

Abstract title:
A preliminary study utilizing social media and crowdsourcing shows an inverse relationship between breast feeding as an infant and the presence of autoimmune hepatitis

AASLD is the leading medical organization for advancing the science and practice of hepatology. Founded by physicians in 1950, AASLD's vision is to prevent and cure liver diseases. This year's Liver Meeting®, held in Boston, November 7-11, will bring together more than 9,000 researchers from 55 countries.

A pressroom will be available from November 7 at the annual meeting. For copies of abstracts and press releases, or to arrange researcher interviews, contact Gregory Bologna at 703-299-9766.

Press releases and all abstracts are available online at www.aasld.org.

Media Contact: Gregory Bologna
703-299-9766
gbologna@aasld.org
Press Room: November 7 – 11, 2014
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA
Telephone: 617-954-2977

Researcher: Craig Lammert, MD
Email: clammert@iu.edu
Phone: 317-201-5740

This release was issued through The Xpress Press News Service, merging e-mail and satellite distribution technologies to reach business analysts and media outlets worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.XpressPress.com.

SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

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New Analyses of Data From POISE -- the First Phase 3 Trial in PBC in Two Decades -- Examine the Efficacy, Safety and Tolerability Profile of OCA

NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ICPT) (Intercept), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat chronic liver and intestinal diseases, announced today new analyses of data from clinical trials on obeticholic acid (OCA) in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). Six posters, including posters with new analyses of data from POISE – the first Phase 3 trial in PBC in two decades – are being presented at today's poster session at the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) Annual Meeting.

OCA, Intercept's lead product candidate, is a bile acid analog and first-in-class agonist of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) in development for PBC, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and other chronic liver diseases.

In March 2014, Intercept announced that OCA met the primary endpoint of the POISE trial with high statistical significance (p < 0.0001). The posters to be presented at AASLD provide the following information relating to OCA in PBC:

  • Poster 318 provides new subgroup analyses of the treatment effect for OCA across a range of patient characteristics associated with greater risk of adverse clinical outcomes, including age at diagnosis, duration of PBC and baseline alkaline phosphatase (ALP).
  • Poster 295 presents analyses on the effects of OCA treatment versus placebo on markers of cholestasis (ALP, bilirubin) and hepatobiliary damage (GGT, AST, and ALT), as well as markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein or CRP) and apoptosis (cytokeratin-18 or CK-18).
  • Poster 309 presents POISE results in relation to the proportion of patients achieving a response defined by different response criteria, other than the POISE endpoint, such as Paris I, Paris II and Rotterdam.
  • Posters 305 and 310 cover new information relating to the titration arm of POISE, where approximately half the patients in the titration arm had their OCA dose increased from 5 mg to 10 mg after six months of treatment based on clinical response. These posters present new data regarding the potential utility of titration as a dosing strategy in the context of managing pruritus, the primary tolerability issue of OCA treatment, while investigating the effects of titration on the efficacy of OCA treatment.
  • Poster 319 describes the long-term safety and efficacy results from open-label treatment of OCA for over four years as part of the long-term safety extension trial on patients who participated in a Phase 2 PBC trial that evaluated OCA monotherapy.

Linie Moore, President of the PBCers patient advocacy group, commented on the new PBC research being presented at AASLD: "In the time since I was first diagnosed with PBC almost 20 years ago, there have been no new medications introduced to treat my disease, so it is both gratifying and exciting to see so much progress being made with OCA as a potential new PBC therapy. We hope the PBC community's efforts to encourage research and awareness will continue to inspire new advances in the years to come."

About POISE

The POISE trial studied the safety and efficacy of a once-daily treatment with OCA in PBC patients with an inadequate therapeutic response to, or who are unable to tolerate, ursodiol. The primary endpoint of the 12-month double-blind portion of the trial, completed in March 2014, was the achievement of both an ALP level < 1.67x ULN with a ≥ 15% reduction from baseline and a normal bilirubin level, as compared to placebo. Patients with ALP and bilirubin levels below these thresholds have been shown in long-term clinical studies to have a significantly lower risk of progressing to liver transplant and death. There were 217 patients randomized to one of three groups in the trial: placebo, 10 mg OCA, or 5 mg OCA for six months titrated to 10 mg OCA based on clinical response; 216 patients were dosed.

Patients completing the double-blind phase had the option to continue in an open-label, long-term safety extension (LTSE) phase for another five years, during which all patients receive OCA treatment with daily doses starting at 5 mg and potentially titrating up to 25 mg a day, as clinically indicated. Of the 198 patients who completed the double-blind phase, more than 95% continued in the LTSE phase of the trial.

Additional information regarding the POISE trial can be found on the NIH clinical study listing web site: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01473524.

About Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

PBC is an autoimmune liver disease that may progress to cirrhosis and liver failure, and it is currently the second leading indication for liver transplant among women in the United States. It is primarily a disease of women, afflicting approximately one in 1,000 women over the age of 40. Ursodiol is the only approved drug treatment for PBC and studies have shown that up to 50% of PBC patients may have an inadequate response, thereby remaining at risk of adverse outcomes.

About Intercept

Intercept is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat orphan and more prevalent chronic liver and intestinal diseases utilizing its expertise in bile acid chemistry. The company's lead product candidate, obeticholic acid (OCA), is a bile acid analog and first-in-class agonist of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR). OCA is being developed for a variety of chronic liver diseases including primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). OCA has received Fast Track Designation in the United States and orphan drug designation in both the United States and Europe for the treatment of PBC and PSC. Several large, randomized, controlled studies of OCA in the treatment of chronic liver disease have been completed. These include Intercept's Phase 3 POISE trial for the treatment of patients with PBC and the FLINT trial for the treatment of patients with NASH. Intercept owns worldwide rights to OCA outside of Japan, China and Korea, where it has out-licensed the product candidate to Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. For more information about Intercept, please visit the company's website at: www.interceptpharma.com.

Safe Harbor Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements regarding the utility of the selected endpoint for POISE or the other clinical data presented at AASLD; the acceptance by regulatory authorities of the POISE trial endpoint or results; the anticipated results of our clinical trials and other development activities; and our strategic directives under the caption "About Intercept." These "forward-looking statements" are based on management's current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the initiation, cost, timing, progress and results of our development activities, preclinical studies and clinical trials; the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of OCA, INT-767, INT-777 and any other product candidates we may develop, particularly the possibility that regulatory authorities may require clinical outcomes data (and not just results based on achievement of a surrogate endpoint) as a condition to any marketing approval for OCA, and any related restrictions, limitations, and/or warnings in the label of any approved product candidates; our plans to research, develop and commercialize our product candidates; the election by our collaborators to pursue research, development and commercialization activities; our ability to attract collaborators with development, regulatory and commercialization expertise; our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for its product candidates; our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates; the size and growth of the markets for our product candidates and our ability to serve those markets; the rate and degree of market acceptance of any future products; the success of competing drugs that are or become available; regulatory developments in the United States and other countries; the performance of third-party suppliers and manufacturers; our need for and ability to obtain additional financing; our estimates regarding expenses, future revenues and capital requirements and the accuracy thereof; our ability to retain key scientific or management personnel; and other factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" contained in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 filed on March 14, 2014 as well as any updates to these risk factors filed from time to time in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Intercept undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

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Presented: Sunday, November 9, 2014, 5:00 pm Eastern - Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA

BOSTON, Nov. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Attendees of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) listened to the results of a study on the adherence to its practice guidelines on testing for hepatitis B virus (HBV). Drs. Marina Serper, Kimberly Forde, and David E. Kaplan, of the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia VA Medical Center, examined the VA's Corporate Data Warehouse and concluded that the rates of serologic testing for HBV conducted by the VA were suboptimal as recommended by the AASLD practice guideline.

"While other chronic viral infections such as hepatitis C and HIV have received tremendous educational efforts," said Dr. Kaplan, principal investigator for the study, "hepatitis B has received far less attention, particularly outside communities with high numbers of immigrants from endemic regions."

Although only 1.0 percent (26,727) Veterans tested positive for hepatitis B, the study revealed that HBV infection is twice as common in the Veteran population as in the general population of the country.

Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) is the first test for detecting hepatitis B, but a positive result requires additional testing according to the AASLD practice guidelines on hepatitis B. Of the more than 2.5 million Veterans who had the HBsAg test, Dr. Serper's study identified 26,727 Veterans who tested positively. Of that group, the follow-up tests recommended by AASLD were not performed as frequently as recommended. In addition, those who were further tested received antiviral therapy only 25 percent of the time.

"Overall, 25 percent of individuals received antiviral therapy. Of those individuals that we can determine ought to be treated based on HBeAg, ALT, and HBV DNA criteria, only about 60 percent of individuals for whom treatment would likely be appropriate actually receive treatment. Individuals referred to a specialist were significantly more likely to receive treatment. Given low referral rates, these data are not surprising," said Dr. Kaplan.

Dr. Kaplan was asked to speculate about practice guideline adherence in the US population based on what's happening at the VA, and he said, "We suspect that in the baby boomer population there is a significant population of injection drug use-related chronic HBV that is undiagnosed and will not be captured by current USPSTF screening guidelines. Not only is there under-diagnosis, the majority -- up to 70 percent -- of screening HBsAg tests are not followed by referral from primary care to GI or ID providers with expertise in treatment decisions."

The study concluded that follow-up serologic testing for those who tested positive for HBV Surface Antigen and adherence to antiviral treatment recommendations was low, suggesting that provider education and improvements in clinical processes are needed to test and treat Veterans for hepatitis B.

When asked to address the need for testing, Dr. Kaplan said, "Appropriate serological testing is critical for determining whether or not an individual patient meets AASLD treatment criteria for HBV." Dr. Kaplan also addressed the importance of access to antiviral therapy, "Our and other data definitively demonstrate that antiviral therapy in appropriate individuals has a significant impact on mortality, hepatic decompensation, and HCC development. Improving adherence with guidelines is likely therefore to reduce death and healthcare costs," concluded Dr. Kaplan.

Abstract title:
Serologic testing rates among US veterans with hepatitis B

AASLD is the leading medical organization for advancing the science and practice of hepatology. Founded by physicians in 1950, AASLD's vision is to prevent and cure liver diseases. This year's Liver Meeting®, held in Boston, November 7-11, will bring together more than 9,000 researchers from 55 countries.

A pressroom will be available from November 7 at the annual meeting. For copies of abstracts and press releases, or to arrange researcher interviews, contact Gregory Bologna at 703-299-9766.

Press releases and all abstracts are available online at www.aasld.org.

Media Contact: Gregory Bologna
703-299-9766
gbologna@aasld.org
Press Room: November 7 – 11, 2014
Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA
Telephone: 617-954-2977

Researcher: Marina Serper, MD MS
Email: marina.serper@uphs.upenn.edu
Phone: 215-823-5800 x7401 

This release was issued through The Xpress Press News Service, merging e-mail and satellite distribution technologies to reach business analysts and media outlets worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.XpressPress.com."

SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

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http://www.aasld.org

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Daclatasvir TRIO achieves 98% cure rate in treatment-naïve and 93% cure rate in treatment-experienced genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis when used with ribavirin, as shown in UNITY 2

12-week, all-oral treatment halves current regimen duration for hard-to-manage treatment-experienced genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis

Fixed-dose regimen also demonstrates 91% SVR rates in non-cirrhotic genotype 1 patients without requiring use of ribavirin

"Even with the most recent HCV treatment advances, genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis remain difficult to treat"

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced late-breaking data from the UNITY Trial program investigating a 12-week regimen of its all-oral daclatasvir (DCV) TRIO regimen – a fixed-dose combination of daclatasvir with asunaprevir (ASV) and beclabuvir (BCV) – in a broad range of patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C virus (HCV). The data will be presented at The Liver Meeting® 2014, the Annual Meeting of The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), in Boston, MA, November 7 – 11. The primary endpoint for both studies was the percentage of patients who achieved cure, defined as HCV RNA<LLOQ TD/TND at post-treatment week 12 for treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients.

The UNITY-2 study, which evaluated cirrhotic patients in a 12-week regimen of the DCV-TRIO, showed sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment (SVR12) among 98% of treatment-naïve and 93% of treatment-experienced cirrhotic patients with ribavirin (RBV) and 93% of treatment-naïve and 87% of treatment-experienced cirrhotic patients without ribavirin.

“Even with the most recent HCV treatment advances, genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis remain difficult to treat,” said Andrew J. Muir, M.D., MHS, Associate Professor of Medicine; Clinical Director, Gastroenterology & Transplant Hepatology, Duke Gastroenterology. “Currently, treatment-experienced cirrhotic patients still require a 24-week regimen to achieve high SVR rates. The data from this clinical trial using the DCV-TRIO regimen showed high cure rates for this population in a 12-week regimen, and has the potential to aid treatment adherence and provide a shorter treatment duration to achieve cure.”

Study Design and Results

The Phase 3 UNITY clinical trial program is an ongoing study investigating 12-week regimens of the DCV-TRIO fixed-dose combination (daclatasvir 30 mg plus asunaprevir 200 mg plus beclabuvir 75 mg) in non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic genotype 1 patients.

The open-label UNITY-1 study evaluated a 12-week regimen of the DCV-TRIO without ribavirin in treatment-naïve and -experienced non-cirrhotic patients. Non-cirrhotic treatment-naïve patients (n=312) and treatment-experienced patients (n=103) received the DCV-TRIO fixed-dose combination in one pill twice daily for 12 weeks, with 24 weeks of follow-up. The majority of the patients (73%) were genotype 1a, and 91% of all patients achieved SVR12. 92% of treatment-naive patients and 89% of treatment-experienced patients achieved cure, without the use of ribavirin.

In the UNITY-2 study, both cirrhotic treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients received the DCV-TRIO fixed-dose combination, one arm without ribavirin (n=102) and one with ribavirin (n=100). The study was double-blinded to ribavirin, and the majority of the patients (74%) were genotype 1a. The study showed 96% of all patients who received the DCV-TRIO with ribavirin achieved SVR12, and 90% of those who received the DCV-TRIO without ribavirin achieved SVR12.

“The Phase 3 UNITY results for the daclatasvir TRIO fixed-dose combination are particularly compelling for genotype 1 patients with cirrhosis, whose treatment is often harder to manage than non-cirrhotic patients,” said Douglas Manion, M.D., head of Specialty Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “BMS continues to recognize that HCV is an extremely complicated disease with no ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment solution, and the UNITY results are especially promising for serving patients with cirrhosis, a specific but significant portion of genotype 1 patients.”

In both UNITY-1 and UNITY-2 there were low rates of adverse events (AEs) leading to discontinuation and of serious adverse events (SAEs) overall. In UNITY-1 there were 7 SAEs, all considered not related to study treatment, and 3 AEs leading to treatment discontinuation. The most common AEs were headache (25.8%) and fatigue (16.6%). In UNITY-2, there were 3 SAEs related to treatment and 4 AEs leading to discontinuation. The most common AEs were headache and fatigue (both 19.8%).

Full abstracts for both presentations are available at The Liver Meeting website.

About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a virus that infects the liver and is transmitted through direct contact with infected blood and blood products. Approximately 170 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C, with an estimated 2.7–3.9 million chronically infected in the United States. Up to 90 percent of those infected with hepatitis C will not spontaneously clear the virus and will become chronically infected. According to the World Health Organization, up to 20 percent of people with chronic hepatitis C will develop cirrhosis; of those, up to 20 percent may progress to liver cancer.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb’s HCV Portfolio

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s research efforts are focused on advancing late-stage compounds to deliver the most value to patients with hepatitis C. At the core of our pipeline is daclatasvir, a potent pan-genotypic NS5A complex inhibitor (in vitro), which continues to be investigated in multiple treatment regimens and in people with co-morbidities.

Daklinza (daclatasvir) was recently approved in the EU for use in combination with other medicinal products across genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in adults. Daklinza is also approved in Japan in combination with Sunvepra (asunaprevir), a NS3/4A protease inhibitor. The Daklinza+Sunvepra Dual Regimen is Japan’s first all-oral, interferon- and ribavirin-free treatment regimen for patients with genotype 1 chronic HCV infection, including those with compensated cirrhosis.

In 2013, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s investigational all-oral DCV-TRIO regimen (daclatasvir/asunaprevir/beclabuvir) received Breakthrough Therapy Designation in the U.S., which helped to expedite the start of the ongoing Phase 3 UNITY program. Study populations include non-cirrhotic naïve, cirrhotic naïve and previously treated patients. In addition to UNITY 1 and 2, both the UNITY-3 study among Japanese treatment-naïve and -experienced genotype 1 patients and UNITY-4, which studies the DCV-TRIO regimen without ribavirin in cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients in Korea, Russia and Taiwan, are currently ongoing. The DCV-TRIO regimen is being studied as a fixed-dose-combination treatment with twice daily dosing.

Additional studies with daclatasvir in combination with sofosbuvir are being conducted in high unmet need patients, such as pre- and post-transplant patients, HIV/HCV co-infected patients and patients with genotype 3 as part of the ongoing Phase 3 ALLY Program.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that daclatasvir or asunaprevir or any other compounds mentioned in this release will receive regulatory approval in the United States, or if approved, that they will become commercially successful products. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact:

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Media:
Carrie Fernandez, Office: 609-419-5448
Cell: 215-859-2605
carrie.fernandez@bms.com
or
Investors:
Ranya Dajani, 609-252-5330
ranya.dajani@bms.com
or
Ryan Asay, 609-252-5020
ryan.asay@bms.com

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Daclatasvir+sofosbuvir regimen achieves SVR12 in 90% of treatment-naïve and 86% of treatment-experienced genotype 3 patients

ALLY-3 is the first Phase 3 study of an all-oral, ribavirin-free treatment regimen for genotype 3 HCV patients with a 12-week treatment duration

Genotype 3 is the second most common genotype worldwide and has emerged as one of the most difficult to treat

Saturday, November 8, 2014 9:00 am EST

"Both treatment naïve and treatment experienced patients in the ALLY-3 study achieved high SVR rates. These results are encouraging given that patients with genotype 3 have emerged as among the hardest to treat"

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced late-breaking data from the landmark ALLY Trial investigating a ribavirin-free 12-week regimen of daclatasvir (DCV) in combination with sofosbuvir (SOF) in genotype 3 hepatitis C (HCV) patients, a patient population that has emerged as one of the most difficult to treat. The results of the study, which showed sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment (SVR12) in 90% of treatment-naïve and 86% of treatment-experienced patients, will be presented at The Liver Meeting® 2014, the Annual Meeting of The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), in Boston, MA, November 7 – 11.

“Both treatment naïve and treatment experienced patients in the ALLY-3 study achieved high SVR rates. These results are encouraging given that patients with genotype 3 have emerged as among the hardest to treat,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Director, UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Assistant Vice President of Research for the University of Florida. “Genotype 3 is associated with a more rapid progression of disease and remains a challenge to the efficacy of even newer regimens. The ALLY-3 results demonstrate the possibility of bringing a cure to genotype 3 patients in an all-oral, 12-week regimen.”

These results build upon the existing body of data on the daclatasvir and sofosbuvir combination. Data from an open-label, randomized study of daclatasvir with sofosbuvir in genotypes 1, 2, and 3 demonstrated that the 24-week regimen of daclatasvir and sofosbuvir (± ribavirin) achieved SVR12 in 89% of patients with genotype 3. The ALLY study presented at The Liver Meeting investigates the regimen for 12 weeks, halving the previous treatment duration. Other ongoing ALLY studies examine diverse HCV populations across all genotypes: cirrhotic and post-liver transplant patients, as well as treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients who are co-infected with HIV.

“HCV is a complex disease, and the treatment community needs multiple options to address the remaining unmet medical needs,” said Douglas Manion, M.D., head of Specialty Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Daclatasvir has shown pan-genotypic activity in bench research, a factor which is becoming increasingly important as we learn more about the complexity of HCV. Further, daclatasvir’s potential to be combined with many other agents, including sofosbuvir, is significant in continuing to develop additional treatment options that may help patients of all genotypes achieve cure.”

In the ALLY-3 study, the daclatasvir and sofosbuvir combination regimen was well tolerated, with no deaths, treatment-related serious adverse events, or discontinuations due to adverse events. The most frequent side effects (≥5%) were headache (19.7%), fatigue (19.1%), nausea (11.8%), diarrhea (8.6%), insomnia (5.9%), abdominal pain and arthralgia (both 5.3%). Additionally, there were 17 (11.2%) treatment failures, with 16 relapses post-treatment and 1 rebound at the end of treatment. There were no viral breakthroughs in this ribavirin-free regimen.

About ALLY-3: Study Design

This Phase 3 open-label clinical trial enrolled 152 genotype 3 HCV patients; 101 treatment-naïve patients and 51 treatment-experienced patients in 2 cohorts each received daclatasvir 60 mg and sofosbuvir 400 mg once daily for 12 weeks, with 24 weeks of follow-up. The primary endpoint was SVR12 rates, defined as HCV RNA < LLOQ target detected or not detected at follow-up week 12 in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients.

The full abstract for the presentation is available at The Liver Meeting website.

About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a virus that infects the liver and is transmitted through direct contact with infected blood and blood products. Approximately 170 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C, with an estimated 2.7–3.9 million chronically infected in the United States. Up to 90 percent of those infected with hepatitis C will not spontaneously clear the virus and will become chronically infected. According to the World Health Organization, up to 20 percent of people with chronic hepatitis C will develop cirrhosis; of those, up to 20 percent may progress to liver cancer.

About Genotype 3

Genotype 3 is estimated to affect 54.3 million people and is the second most common worldwide behind genotype 1 (83.4 million). It is now potentially the most difficult-to-treat genotype, and the more aggressive nature of genotype 3 lies in the damage it causes to the liver, as it is associated with progressive disease, increased rates of steatosis and a disproportionately increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb’s HCV Portfolio

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s research efforts are focused on advancing late-stage compounds to deliver the most value to patients with hepatitis C. At the core of our pipeline is daclatasvir, a potent pan-genotypic NS5A complex inhibitor (in vitro), which continues to be investigated in multiple treatment regimens and in people with co-morbidities.

Daklinza (daclatasvir) was recently approved in the EU for use in combination with other medicinal products across genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in adults. Daklinza is also approved in Japan in combination with Sunvepra (asunaprevir), a NS3/4A protease inhibitor. The Daklinza+Sunvepra Dual Regimen is Japan’s first all-oral, interferon- and ribavirin-free treatment regimen for patients with genotype 1 chronic HCV infection, including those with compensated cirrhosis.

In 2013, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s investigational all-oral DCV-TRIO regimen (daclatasvir/asunaprevir/beclabuvir) received Breakthrough Therapy Designation in the U.S., which helped to expedite the start of the ongoing Phase 3 UNITY program. Study populations include non-cirrhotic naïve, cirrhotic naïve and previously treated patients. In addition to UNITY 1 and 2, both the UNITY-3 study among Japanese treatment-naïve and -experienced genotype 1 patients and UNITY-4, which studies the DCV-TRIO regimen without ribavirin in cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients in Korea, Russia and Taiwan, are currently ongoing. The DCV-TRIO regimen is being studied as a fixed-dose-combination treatment with twice daily dosing.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward Looking Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that daclatasvir will receive regulatory approval in the United States, or if approved, that it will become a commercially successful product. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
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Carrie Fernandez, Office: 609-419-5448
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Ranya Dajani, 609-252-5330
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- Achillion Achieves 100% SVR12 in Eight-Week Phase 2 Trial Evaluating a Ribavirin-Free Regimen of ACH-3102 and Sofosbuvir for Genotype 1 HCV ("Proxy Study") Including Nine of 12 Patients With Viral Loads Higher Than 6 Million IU/ml at Baseline -

- Reports Additional Preclinical Results for ACH-3422, Uridine-Analog Nucleotide NS5B Polymerase Inhibitor -

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced the presentation of results from the ongoing Phase 2 study of ACH-3102 in a late breaker poster and data in three preclinical posters on ACH-3422. The poster presentations are being made at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), The Liver Meeting 2014, which takes place through November 11, 2014 in Boston, MA.

Late Breaker Poster Presentation: Phase 2 pilot study evaluating eight week treatment of ACH-3102 in combination with sofosbuvir for genotype 1 treatment-naïve HCV

In a late breaker poster presentation, Achillion reported updated interim results from an ongoing interferon-free, ribavirin-free, Phase 2 open-label, randomized, partial-crossover study to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of eight weeks or six weeks of ACH-3102 and sofosbuvir, a marketed nucleotide polymerase inhibitor, without ribavirin, in treatment-naïve genotype 1 HCV-infected patients. The primary objective of the study is determination of sustained viral response 12 weeks (SVR12) after the completion of therapy. Eighteen patients were enrolled, including six observational patients. Twelve patients completed eight weeks of treatment consisting of 50 mg of ACH-3102 and 400 mg of sofosbuvir administered once daily while observational patients received no drug during this phase of the trial.

Of the 12 patients treated, 100 percent (n=12/12) achieved SVR12. Of the 12 patients treated in this study, nine of 12 patients had a baseline viral load substantially greater than 6 million IU/ml at baseline. No on-treatment viral breakthrough or post-treatment viral relapse has been observed.

Preclinical poster presentations on ACH-3422

Achillion presented three posters at AASLD which reported updated preclinical results on ACH-3422. The in vitro results demonstrated that this nucleotide pro-drug has improved potency against genotype 3 HCV as compared to sofosbuvir. In addition, in a separate poster presentation, Achillion reported that ACH-3422 displays additive to synergistic activity when combined with ACH-3102 or sovaprevir, Achillion's Phase 2 NS3/4A protease inhibitor, in vitro. Furthermore, the high barrier to resistance for ACH-3422 was supported with the ability of the agent to block, in vitro, the appearance of resistant colonies in combination with other direct-acting antiviral agents.

"The antiviral activity and safety profile observed to date for ACH-3422 both in preclinical studies and in the ongoing 422-001 Phase 1 trial support further development with this nucleotide in combination with Achillion's other direct-acting antivirals, and represents an exciting treatment option for HCV," commented Professor Edward Gane, M.D., Deputy Director and Hepatologist, New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit, Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand, and Lead Investigator in the ACH-3422 Phase 1 proof-of-concept study and Phase 2 proxy study of ACH-3102 and sofosbuvir.

Reprints of the posters are available on the Company's website at www.achillion.com/resources.

About HCV

The hepatitis C virus is the most common cause of viral hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver. It is currently estimated that more than 150 million people are infected with HCV worldwide including more than 5 million people in the United States. Three-fourths of the HCV patient population is undiagnosed; it is a silent epidemic and a major global health threat. Chronic hepatitis, if left untreated, can lead to permanent liver damage that can result in the development of liver cancer, liver failure or death.

About Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion is seeking to apply its expertise in biology and structure-guided design and a deep understanding of patient and clinician needs to develop innovative treatment solutions aimed at improving patients' lives. The company's scientific excellence, integrated capabilities and experienced team position it to successfully achieve its goal of advancing new products along the entire continuum from the bench to the patient. Achillion's pipeline is currently focused on small molecule therapeutics for infectious disease and complement-related diseases. www.achillion.com

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including statements with respect to: the Company's reiteration that it remains on track to initiate all-oral ribavirin-free regimens with ACH-3422, ACH-3102 and sovaprevir for the treatment of HCV in 2015; the Company's expectations that the Phase 1 study of ACH-3422 could inform the potential initiation of combination studies of ACH-3422 and ACH-3102; and the Company's expectations that it may report preliminary results from its Phase 1 program during the fall of 2014. Achillion may use words such as "expect," "anticipate," "project," "intend," "plan," "aim," "believe," "seek," " estimate," "can," "focus," "will," and "may" and similar expressions to identify such forward-looking statements. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are risks relating to, among other things Achillion's ability to: demonstrate in any current and future clinical trials the requisite safety, efficacy and combinability of its drug candidates; advance the preclinical and clinical development of its drug candidates, including ACH-3422, ACH-3102 and sovaprevir, under the timelines it projects in current and future clinical trials; obtain and maintain necessary regulatory approvals; obtain and maintain patent protection for its drug candidates and the freedom to operate under third party intellectual property; establish commercial manufacturing arrangements; identify, enter into and maintain collaboration agreements with appropriate third-parties; compete successfully with other companies that are seeking to develop improved therapies for the treatment of HCV; manage expenses; manage litigation; raise the substantial additional capital needed to achieve its business objectives; and successfully execute on its business strategies. These and other risks are described in the reports filed by Achillion with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and its subsequent SEC filings.

In addition, any forward-looking statement in this press release represents Achillion's views only as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Achillion disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statement, except as required by applicable law.

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