Thursday, October 13, 2011

Achillions Announces Second Generation NS5A Inhibitor -ACH-3102

The candidate, ACH-3102, is a second generation NS5A inhibitor that in preclinical studies has demonstrated potent pan-genotypic activity against HCV genotypes 1 - 6

Achillion Announces Nomination of Second Generation NS5A Inhibitor for the Treatment of Hepatitis C

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Oct. 13, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN), a leader in the discovery and development of small molecule drugs to combat the most challenging infectious diseases, today announced the nomination of an additional clinical candidate for the treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from its NS5A inhibitor program. The candidate, ACH-3102, is a second generation NS5A inhibitor that in preclinical studies has demonstrated potent pan-genotypic activity against HCV genotypes 1 - 6, including excellent activity against both the genotype 1a subtype and known mutant variants of genotype 1 HCV.

"Inhibition of the NS5A target is one of the most compelling approaches to treating hepatitis C. With the development of this second generation compound, ACH-3102, with its improved antiviral activity and potency, we continue to deliver on our commitment to advancing potentially best-in-class agents for the treatment of HCV," commented Mingjun Huang, PhD, Vice President of Virology at Achillion.

"We believe that NS5A inhibitors, in combination with protease inhibitors, will play an integral role in achieving the goal of an all-oral once-daily direct acting antiviral regimen that possesses pan-genotypic activity against HCV," commented Michael D. Kishbauch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion. "The advancement of ACH-3102 toward clinical studies, combined with the trial results anticipated near year-end on our protease inhibitors, ACH-1625 and the pan-genotypic agent ACH-2684, and our first generation NS5A inhibitor, ACH-2928, position Achillion's pipeline to deliver multiple potential combination possibilities for an interferon-free treatment for HCV."

About NS5A Inhibitors and ACH-3102

The NS5A protein is a clinically validated target that serves multiple functions at various stages of the HCV life cycle including involvement in virion production, interaction with host proteins and association with interferon-resistance. Achillion's NS5A inhibitors, including ACH-3102, possess potent activity against all HCV genotypes and demonstrate in preclinical studies additive to synergistic activity when combined with NS3 protease inhibitors, NS5B polymerase inhibitors, interferon and ribavirin. In preclinical studies, ACH-3102 has demonstrated excellent potency, in the pico-molar range, against HCV RNA replication, including potent activity against genotype 1a and enhanced activity against recognized genotype 1 resistant variants.

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 and The American Association of Liver Disease estimates that up to 80% of individuals become chronically infected following exposure to the virus. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis can lead to permanent liver damage, which 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.

About Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion is an innovative pharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing important new treatments to patients with infectious disease. Achillion's proven discovery and development teams have advanced multiple product candidates with novel mechanisms of action. Achillion is focused on solutions for the most challenging problems in infectious disease including hepatitis C and resistant bacterial infections. For more information on Achillion Pharmaceuticals, please visit 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, including statements with respect to the potency, safety and other characteristics of Achillion's NS5A inhibitors, which may not be duplicated in clinical studies, and Achillion's expectations regarding results, timing and duration of clinical trials and reporting of results from clinical trials of ACH-1625, ACH-2684 and Achillion's NS5A inhibitors, including ACH-3102. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are Achillion's ability to advance the development of its drug candidates under the timelines it anticipates in current and future clinical trials; to obtain patent protection for its drug candidates, and the freedom to operate under third party intellectual property; to establish commercial manufacturing arrangements and to identify, enter into and maintain collaboration agreements with appropriate third-parties; and to raise the 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, 2010 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 obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required by applicable law.

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