Achillion Nominates ACH-3422 as Nucleotide for the Treatment of Chronic HCV

Thu May 30, 2013 6:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

– Advancement of ACH-3422 Complements Achillion's Portfolio of 2nd Generation Protease and NS5A Inhibitors Providing the Opportunity to Optimize Treatment Duration and Outcomes for All HCV Patients –

– Conference Call and Webcast to be Hosted Today at 12:00pm EDT –

NEW HAVEN, Conn., May 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced the nomination of the preclinical compound, ACH-3422, a novel small molecule nucleotide prodrug of a uridine analog designed to inhibit HCV NS5B polymerase. This compound will be advanced as a development candidate for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) viral infection. Achillion plans to complete regulatory submissions during the first quarter of 2014, with first-in-human studies anticipated in the first half of 2014, followed by combination development in the second half of 2014.

"Our research and discovery team has always maintained the highest standards for developing proprietary best-in-class compounds, and this has led to the nomination of ACH-3422, which we are now advancing toward the clinic," commented Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. "The addition of ACH-3422 gives Achillion a portfolio of assets that also includes a 2nd generation protease inhibitor, sovaprevir, and a 2nd generation NS5A inhibitor, ACH-3102, which together provide Achillion the opportunity to potentially optimize treatment outcomes and duration of therapy across all HCV patients."

Dr. Deshpande further commented, "Along with the nomination of this candidate, we continue our efforts to accelerate the development time-lines for our all-oral, interferon-free combination of sovaprevir and ACH-3102, our protease and NS5A inhibitors, as a regimen for the treatment of HCV. Beginning in the third quarter of 2013, we expect to begin to report interim results from the ongoing -007 clinical trial of these agents for the treatment of HCV genotype 1 treatment-naïve patients."

Preclinical profile of ACH-3422

ACH-3422 is a small-molecule, nucleotide prodrug inhibitor of HCV NS5B polymerase. In vitro, ACH-3422 has demonstrated excellent potency, with activity demonstrated across all genotypes of HCV and an EC50 of approximately 50 to 65 nanomolar against genotype 1 HCV. To date, Achillion has completed 14-day safety studies in animals, where no significant findings were noted at the highest dose tested. ACH-3422 appears to have high oral bioavailability, rapid uptake and conversion of the prodrug into the monophosphate within the liver, and a pharmacokinetic profile supportive of once-daily dosing. Manufacturing and IND-enabling studies have been initiated, with the expectation of submitting an IND to the FDA in the first quarter of 2014.

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. To participate in the conference call, please dial (877) 266-0482 in the U.S. or (631) 291-4567 for international callers. A live audio webcast of the call will be accessible at www.achillion.com, under the News Center section of the website. Please connect to Achillion's website several minutes prior to the start of the broadcast to ensure adequate time for any software download that may be necessary.

A replay of the webcast will be available on www.achillion.com. Alternatively, a replay of the conference call will be available starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time on May 28, 2013, through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on June 5, 2013 by dialing (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406. The replay passcode is 87685598.

About HCV

The hepatitis C virus is the most common cause of viral hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver. It is currently estimated that more than 170 million people are infected with HCV worldwide including more than 5 million people in the United States, making HCV more than twice as widespread as HIV. Three-fourths of the global HCV patient population is undiagnosed; it is a silent epidemic and a major global health threat. Chronic hepatitis, if left untreated, can lead to permanent liver damage that can result in the development of liver cancer, liver failure or death. Few therapeutic options currently exist for the treatment of HCV infection. The current standard of care is limited by its specificity for certain types of HCV, significant side-effect profile, and injectable route of administration.

For additional information on Achillion's ongoing clinical trial please visit: http://clinicaltrials.gov

About Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion is an innovative pharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing important new treatments to patients with infectious disease. Achillion's discovery, clinical development, and commercial teams have advanced multiple novel product candidates with proven mechanisms of action into studies and toward the market. Achillion is focused on solutions for the most challenging problems in infectious disease including HCV and resistant bacterial infections. For more information on Achillion Pharmaceuticals, please visit www.achillion.com or call 1-203-624-7000.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including statements with respect to: the expected potency, bioavailability, pharmacokinetic and other characteristics of development candidate ACH-3422; Achillion's expectations regarding timing for the commencement, completion and reporting of results of its clinical trials of ACH-3422, ACH-3102 in combination with ribavirin and sovaprevir in combination with ACH-3102. We may use words such as "expect," "anticipate," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," " estimate," and "may" and similar expressions to identify such forward-looking statements. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are risks relating to, among other things Achillion's ability to: successfully advance ACH-3422 into clinical trials; replicate in later clinical trials positive results found in preclinical and earlier stage clinical trials of sovaprevir, ACH-3102, ACH-3422 and its other product candidates; advance the development of its drug candidates under the timelines it anticipates in current and future clinical trials; obtain necessary regulatory approvals; obtain patent protection for its drug candidates and the freedom to operate under third party intellectual property; establish commercial manufacturing arrangements; identify, enter into and maintain collaboration agreements with appropriate third-parties; compete successfully with other companies that are seeking to develop improved therapies for the treatment of HCV; manage expenses; and raise the substantial additional capital needed to achieve its business objectives. These and other risks are described in the reports filed by Achillion with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012 and its subsequent SEC filings.

In addition, any forward-looking statement in this press release represents Achillion's views only as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Achillion disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statement, except as required by applicable law.

CONTACT: Company Contact:
         Glenn Schulman
         Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
         Tel. (203) 624-7000
         gschulman@achillion.com
         
         Investors:
         Mary Kay Fenton
         Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
         Tel. (203) 624-7000
         mfenton@achillion.com
         
         Media:
         Sally Barton
         Ogilvy PR
         Tel. (212) 880-5240
         sally.barton@ogilvy.com
         
         Investors:
         Seth Lewis
         The Trout Group, LLC
         Tel. (646) 378-2952
         slewis@troutgroup.com