Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
) presented encouraging data on its HIV candidate BMS-663068 (an
attachment inhibitor) at the 21st conference on retroviruses and
opportunistic Infections. The phase IIb study (n=254) evaluated
the candidate in treatment experienced HIV-1 infected adults
across four doses - (400 mg (twice daily); 800 mg (twice daily);
600 mg (once daily); 1200 mg (once a day)).
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Data from the 24 week study revealed that BMS-663068 was as
effective as the biopharma major's established HIV treatment
Reyataz (boosted with
) Norvir) in controlling the dreaded virus. Bristol-Myers said
that treatment with BMS-663068 reduced the level of the virus to
undetectable levels in 69%-80% patients, while Norvir boosted
Reyataz therapy achieved similar results in 75% patients.
Moreover, the candidate was found to be well tolerated in the
study. No patient opted out of the study due to adverse events.
The positive results from the study are highly encouraging as
successful development and subsequent commercialization of the
candidate would enlarge the treatment options for HIV patients
who have failed other therapies. In the event of the candidate
entering the market, Bristol-Myers' top line would be boosted as
the HIV market is lucrative. Bristol-Myers is also developing
) cobicistat as a fixed dose combination to treat HIV patients.
According to the company, HIV affects 34 million people across
the globe. Apart from Bristol-Myers, many other companies such as
Merck & Co.
) are developing candidates to treat HIV.
Bristol-Myers carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked
stock in the biopharma space is Gilead Sciences which carries a
Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).