Bristol-Myers scores first marketing application for all-oral hep C combo

In a notable first, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) has filed a combination of daclatasvir and asunaprevir for approval to treat hepatitis C in Japan--the first all-oral combo in a regulatory package that excludes interferon. Bristol-Myers has been testing the combo in patients who either couldn't tolerate interferon--a large group--or were resistant to the treatments now available. The biopharma company is one step behind Gilead ($GILD) in the U.S., where its rival is expected to nab a quick approval for sofosbuvir after a unanimous vote in its favor by an FDA panel on stellar late-stage data. Gilead is following up with a combo package of its own, while AbbVie ($ABBV) plays catch-up with its late-stage effort. Story