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Vertex, GSK partner for Phase 2 all-oral hepatitis C study

Vertex Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have signed a non-exclusive agreement for Phase 2 all-oral hepatitis C study of VX-135 and GSK2336805.

The companies will jointly fund the study that is expected to begin in 2013.

Phase 2 proof-of-concept study is designed to estimate the safety profile, tolerability profile and viral cure rates of 12-week combination of VX-135 and GSK2336805.

Vertex senior vice president and chief medical officer Robert Kauffman said the agreement underscores the company’s commitment to develop all-oral treatment regimens for people with hepatitis C using medicines within our own pipeline and by working in collaboration with other companies like GSK.

"We are focused on the development of new all-oral treatments for hepatitis C that have the potential to provide a high cure rate with only 12 weeks of treatment, and we look forward to the start of this study with GSK," Kauffman added.

Vertex’s uridine nucleotide analogue pro-drug VX-135, is designed to target the NS5B polymerase thereby restraining hepatitis C viral replication.

GSK is developing GSK2336805 as an investigational NS5A replication complex inhibitor to treat hepatitis C.