Bristol-Myers Squibb Launches Initiative to Support Search for Cure in Chronic Viral Diseases

Bristol-Myers Squibb Launches Initiative to Support Search for Cure in Chronic
                                Viral Diseases

  PR Newswire

  PARIS, October 16, 2013

PARIS, October 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Partnering for Cure  to kick off with debate on HIV cure at European AIDS

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) announced today at the 14 ^th European AIDS
Conference (EACS) in Brussels the launch of Partnering for Cure , a scientific
initiative to support education and research and to transform clinical
outcomes for patients with chronic viral diseases, namely HIV, hepatitis B
(HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV). The initiative, which confirms BMS' commitment
in virology, is rooted in the company's legacy in virology and ongoing
research in HIV and viral hepatitis.

The Partnering for Cure initiative is led by an expert panel of clinical and
research experts from across Europe, including Germany, France, Switzerland,
Sweden, Belgium, Italy, Spain and the UK. Composed of three core components -
education, scientific exchange and scientific research - the programme will
focus on reviewing current treatment paradigms, providing a forum for
discussion on the evolution of treatment towards cure and facilitating
research seeking novel cure pathways in chronic viral diseases.

Following a first meeting in six sites on September 16, today's Partnering for
Cure satellite symposium at EACS will put HIV cure 'on trial', with faculty
members arguing for and against the case that cure is possible. Audience
members will be given the opportunity to vote on the evidence presented.

"We need this programme: a programme to cure HIV, HBV and HCV," said Christine
Katlama, Partnering for Cure Faculty Chair, from the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière
in Paris. "We have so many patients across the world and we need a cure. The
answer is in the lab, the answer is also in the clinical field and there is a
lot to do. We need to move forward and work together and Partnering for Cure
is a fantastic opportunity to do just that."

Chronic viral infections make a substantial contribution to the burden of
chronic diseases and premature mortality worldwide. In December 2012, the
Global Burden of Disease Study reported 1,465,000 deaths caused by HIV/AIDS
and 1,445,000 deaths caused by viral hepatitis in 2010. ^[ ^i] Infections with
hepatitis B and C viruses also cause an estimated 57% of cases of liver
cirrhosis and 78% of cases of primary liver cancer annually. ^[ ^ii] Whilst
important advances have been made over the last decade, particularly in HIV,
significant unmet needs and the opportunity for cure remains.   

Bristol-Myers Squibb has been actively involved in virology research and
development since the 1980s, initially focusing on HIV but more recently on
HBV and HCV. "This is an important and ambitious programme that reflects our
genuine engagement in virology," said George Hanna, Vice President, HIV
Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "It is a way to showcase the BMS commitment
to cure in chronic viral infections and to advance investigational compounds -
with novel mechanisms of action - that aim to address unmet clinical needs in
HIV, HBV and HCV. Along with our ongoing research in virology, we remain
steadfast in our pursuit of partnership platforms with policy, advocacy and
healthcare professional stakeholders."

As part of the Partnering for Cure programme, Bristol-Myers Squibb will also
support three independent research projects focused on improving current
understandings of HIV, HBV and HCV and creating novel treatment and cure
strategies. Research applications will be accepted via the website, until October 31, 2013 and will be subject
to blind evaluation by the Partnering for Cure faculty. 

To view the multi-media press release, including comments from  Partnering
for Cure faculty members and BMS, please click the link below.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to
discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail
over serious diseases.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Virology Support Programmes

Like Partnering for Cure , Bristol-Myers Squibb supports a number of
scientific and educational programmes within the virology community around the
world that encompass disease education, disease awareness and sharing of best
practices. These include SHE ® ( Strong, HIV positive, Empowered Women/Strong,
HIV positive Women Educational Programme) , a comprehensive and innovative
programme for women living with HIV and their healthcare providers and PATH B®
( Patients and professionals acting together for hepatitis B ), a joint
initiative between hepatitis patient groups and hepatologists to provide
comprehensive information and support for patients with chronic hepatitis B.


i. Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, The Lancet, Volume 380, No9859, Dec
15, 2012, p2053-2260

ii. WHO and WHA, Global Policy Report on the Prevention and Control of Viral
Hepatitis, 2013,

Contact: Media: Celine Van Doosselaere, +33(6)-14-77-34-31,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.