Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) announced it has entered into a non-exclusive agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) to conduct Phase 2 studies of once-daily all-oral treatment regimens containing Vertex’s nucleotide analogue hepatitis C virus polymerase inhibitor VX-135 and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s NS5A replication complex inhibitor daclatasvir for the treatment of hepatitis C. As part of the agreement, Vertex plans to conduct two Phase 2 studies of the combination, including an initial study in treatment-naïve people with genotype 1 HCV infection planned for the second quarter of 2013. Vertex plans to begin a subsequent study in treatment-naïve people infected with genotype 1, 2 or 3 HCV, including those with cirrhosis, in the second half of 2013, pending data from the initial study. Under the terms of the agreement, Vertex will conduct two Phase 2 studies of VX-135 in combination with daclatasvir. The first study will enroll approximately 20 non-cirrhotic, treatment-naïve people with chronic genotype 1 HCV infection and is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2013. In the second half of 2013, Vertex plans to conduct a subsequent study in approximately 250 treatment-naïve people with chronic genotype 1, 2 or 3 HCV infection, including those with cirrhosis. Each of these studies is expected to evaluate safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and viral cure rates of multiple all-oral regimens of VX-135 and daclatasvir dosed once daily, pending regulatory discussions. Vertex will also conduct co-formulation activities to evaluate the potential for development of a once-daily fixed-dose combination regimen. Further clinical development activities beyond the Phase 2 studies are not covered as part of this agreement.