Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has validated the company’s marketing authorization application (MAA) for the use of daclatasvir (DCV), an investigational NS5A complex inhibitor, for the treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) with compensated liver disease, including genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4. The application seeks the approval of daclatasvir for use in combination with other agents, including sofosbuvir, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. The MAA validation marks the start of an accelerated regulatory review process for DCV, which has the potential, when used in combination with other agents, to address a high unmet need in the European Union (EU), where an estimated 9 million people are living with hepatitis C. “Our extensive clinical trial program has demonstrated that daclatasvir has potential use as a foundational agent for multiple HCV treatment regimens,” said Brian Daniels, MD, senior vice president, Global Development and Medical Affairs, Research and Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “If daclatasvir is approved, we would focus on helping to ensure its availability to patients with limited treatment options and would work with EU health authorities to ensure access is achieved as quickly as possible.” In the European Union, the burden of liver disease and other morbidities from HCV infection is significant, with large numbers of patients in urgent need of new treatment options. Because of the progressive nature of HCV, decades may pass before patients become symptomatic. Many of these aging patients develop liver disease, making them more difficult to treat with the current standard of care of interferon plus ribavirin with or without a protease inhibitor. Viral hepatitis has also been cited as a cause for the increase in the incidence of HCC (hepatocellular carcinoma) in Europe. The EMA submission is supported by data from multiple studies of daclatasvir with other HCV therapies. To date, DCV has been studied in more than 5,500 patients in a variety of all-oral regimens and with the current interferon-based standard of care. In addition to demonstrating pan-genotypic potency in vitro, DCV has shown a low drug-drug interaction profile, supporting its potential use in multiple treatment regimens and in people with co-morbidities. No clinically relevant safety signals have been observed thus far in DCV clinical trials, and DCV has been generally well-tolerated in all investigational regimens and patient types. The EU submission follows the recent Bristol-Myers Squibb regulatory filing in Japan seeking approval of a DCV-based regimen for the treatment of patients infected with HCV genotype 1b.