The NS5A replication complex inhibitor, BMS-790052, inhibits hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication with picomolar potency in preclinical assays. This potency translated in vivo to a substantial antiviral effect in a single-ascending dose study and a 14-day multiple-ascending dose (MAD) monotherapy study. However, HCV RNA remained detectable in genotype 1a–infected patients at the end of the MAD study. In contrast, viral breakthrough was observed less often in patients infected with genotype 1b, and, in several patients, HCV RNA declined and remained below the level of quantitation (<25 IU/mL) through the duration of treatment. Here, we report on the results of the genotypic and phenotypic analyses of resistant variants in 24 genotype 1–infected patients who received BMS-790052 (1, 10, 30, 60, and 100 mg, once-daily or 30 mg twice-daily) in the 14-day MAD study. Sequence analysis was performed on viral complementary DNA isolated from serum specimens collected at baseline and days 1 (4, 8, and 12 hours), 2, 4, 7, and 14 postdosing. Analyses of the sequence variants (1) established a correlation between resistant variants emerging in vivo with BMS-790052 treatment and those observed in the in vitro replicon system (major substitutions at residues 28, 30, 31, and 93 for genotype 1a and residues 31 and 93 for genotype 1b); (2) determined the prevalence of variants at baseline and the emergence of resistance at different times during dosing; and (3) revealed the resistance profile and replicative ability (i.e., fitness) of the variants. Conclusion: Although resistance emerged during monotherapy with BMS-790052, the substantial anti-HCV effect of this compound makes it an excellent candidate for effective combination therapy. (HEPATOLOGY 2011)