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Merck, Bristol-Myers will test hepatitis C regimen

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) -- Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb will run a mid-stage clinical trial of a drug regimen designed to treat the most common type of the hepatitis C virus.

The trial will study a combination of Bristol's drug daclatasvir, and Merck's MK-5172. Merck will run the trial in which patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C will be monitored. That is both the most common type of the virus and the toughest to treat.

Bristol-Myers is running late-stage trials of daclatasvir and MK-5172 is in mid-stage testing. Merck's hepatitis C drug Victrelis was approved in 2011.

Shares of Merck & Co. closed at $47.49 Friday and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. shares finished at $41.15.