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Home Industry News Bristol Myers Squibb unveils hepatitis B drug resistance study

Bristol Myers Squibb unveils hepatitis B drug resistance study

25th March 2008

A five-year study of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s hepatitis B treatment baraclude has found that patients demonstrate “minimal resistance” to the drug over time, which could make it an important tool in the long-term treatment of the disease.

The company announced the results of the study at the 18th Asia-Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver conference in Seoul, South Korea.

It found that after five years of treatment with baraclude, the cumulative probably of mutations developing in the virus that create resistance to treatment was 1.2 per cent.

Resistance to hepatitis B drugs occurs when the disease virus mutates, which can not only decrease the effectiveness of present treatments, but also limit future options.

Professor Ching-Lung Lai of the University of Hong Kong said the “long-term minimal resistance” displayed by the study’s 700 patients could be of “great importance” for chronic sufferers of the disease.

Between three and six per cent of the world’s population are currently thought to be infected with the hepatitis B virus.

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