Bristol-Myers wins approval for 1st hepatitis C type 3 drug

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - An experimental drug for one of the hardest-to-treat types of hepatitis C has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, adding to the surge of new options - all much more effective but extremely costly - for patients with the liver-destroying virus.

Daklinza, developed by New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., is the first drug approved to treat genotype 3, the second-most-common form. About 10 percent of Americans with hepatitis C have genotype 3.

Because genotype 3 is so hard to cure and damages the liver more quickly than other types, Daklinza is to be taken with Sovaldi, one of two blockbuster hepatitis C drugs sold by market leader Gilead Sciences Inc., along with Harvoni.

Meanwhile, the FDA on Friday also approved Technivie, a combination drug made by AbbVie Inc. for one of the least common forms of hepatitis C, genotype 4. Technivie also must be taken with a second drug, a much-older, generic pill called ribavirin.

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