BMS REPORTS RESULTS OF BARACLUDE STUDY

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Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has reported that twice as many patients taking antiviral agent Baraclude had their hepatitis B virus levels lowered to undetectable levels compared with those patients taking lamivudine, the active ingredient in GlaxoSmithKline's antiviral treatment Epivir.

After 96 weeks of treatment, 80 percent of patients given 0.5 mg of Baraclude daily had undetectable levels of the virus, compared to 39 percent of patients given 100 milligrams of lamivudine daily.

The study also found that no patients had a noticeable rebound of the virus attributed to Baraclude after two years of treatment. However, in patients who were unresponsive to lamivudine, 9 percent of Baraclude patients taking the drug experienced a rebound of the virus. The company said all patients whose virus rebounded had mutations attributed to previous lamivudine treatment.