May 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted a fast track designation to Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc's experimental hepatitis C drug ACH-3102, currently in an early-stage trial.
The fast-track status is designed to expedite the regulatory review of drugs that aim to treat serious diseases and fill unmet medical needs.
The New Haven, Connecticut-based company got a fast track designation in January for another of its experimental hepatitis C (HCV) drug ACH-1625, which was in a mid-stage trial.
The hepatitis C virus infects the liver and is the most common cause of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver.
The market for hepatitis C treatments is expected to be worth around $15 billion by 2019, garnering significant investor interest, and most firms trying to develop a drug for the infection have seen stock prices skyrocketing over the past one year.
Shares of Achillion closed at $6.89 on Monday on the Nasdaq.