Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sovaprevir (Formerly ACH-1625)-Positive SVR4 Results From Phase 2 Study

Achillion hepatitis C drug shows promise in mid-stage study

(Reuters) - Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental hepatitis C drug showed promising interim data in a mid-stage trial, sending its shares higher in extended trade.

The company said the drug sovaprevir, when given along with the standard therapy of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, showed no detectable virus level in a majority of patients four weeks after the end of the treatment period.

Of the 39 patients who received 12 weeks of additional standard therapy following 12 weeks of the combination therapy, a total of 33 patients in three different dosage arms showed sustained viral response a month later.

Trial results from the same patients at 12 weeks post treatment, as well as from another arm where 14 patients received 36 weeks of standard treatment following combination therapy, are expected in the first quarter of 2013.

Additionally, the company said it has begun early studies to evaluate the safety of another one of its experimental hepatitis C drugs, codenamed ACH-3102, and expects to report initial results from this in the third quarter.

"The safety and tolerability seen to date with ACH-3102 ... lead us to believe we have an in-house portfolio of optimized compounds that can successfully create an all-oral, interferon-free regimen for the treatment of genotype 1 HCV," Achillion's chief scientific officer Milind Deshpande said in a statement.

Hepatitis C drugmakers have been scouting for ways to develop an effective drug that does not contain interferon, which causes flu-like symptoms that often lead patients to discontinue treatment.
Companies such as Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc, Bristol Myers-Squibb and Abbott Pharmaceuticals are currently in the race to get such a treatment to market.
Shares of New Haven, Connecticut-based Achillion rose 15 cents to $7.05 in after-market trade on Tuesday. They had closed at $6.90 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Kurian)

Achillion Announces Positive SVR4 Results From Phase 2 Study of Sovaprevir (Formerly ACH-1625) and Advancement of ACH-3102


Sovaprevir (formerly ACH-1625) achieves SVR4 of 85-100% of genotype 1 treatment naive patients treated with sovaprevir for 12 weeks followed by an additional 12 weeks of pegylated-interferon and ribavirin

Enrollment of HCV-infected patients initiated in Phase 1 trial of ACH-3102, second generation pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor

Conference call tomorrow August 8, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EDT

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 7, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced sustained viral response (SVR4) results of 85 to 100 percent from an ongoing multi-dose Phase 2 trial evaluating 12 weeks of dosing with sovaprevir (formerly ACH-1625), a once-daily protease inhibitor, in combination with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (P/R) followed by an additional 12 weeks of P/R. In addition, the Company announced today that ACH-3102, a second-generation pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor, has been safe and well tolerated by healthy volunteers in both single and 14-day multiple ascending dose groups. Further, enrollment of patients in a Phase 1 proof-of-concept clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ACH-3102 in patients with genotype 1 HCV has been initiated.

"We are very pleased to reach these important milestones in our HCV portfolio including positive SVR4 results with sovaprevir and the advancement of ACH-3102, our second-generation pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor, through Phase 1 dose-escalation," commented Milind S. Deshpande, Ph.D., President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer. "The safety and efficacy seen with sovaprevir across dose groups provides us with confidence that this next-generation protease inhibitor will play an important role in an all-oral treatment for HCV. The safety and tolerability seen to date with ACH-3102, for which we expect to report proof-of-concept next month, combined with the compound's in vitro profile, lead us to we believe we have an in-house portfolio of optimized compounds that can successfully create an all-oral, interferon-free regimen for the treatment of genotype 1 HCV. We look forward to beginning combination studies with sovaprevir and ACH-3102 by the end of the year."

Sovaprevir: Updated Phase 2 results including SVR4

In June 2011, Achillion initiated a randomized Phase 2 trial evaluating three doses (200 mg, 400 mg, or 800 mg) of sovaprevir given once daily in combination with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin (P/R) for 12 weeks followed by an additional 12 or 36 weeks of P/R, for the treatment of genotype 1 HCV.

As previously reported in April 2012, of the 58 patients enrolled in this study, the majority had HCV genotype 1a (n=35 (60%)), with remaining patients having HCV genotype 1b (n=20) or genotype 1 (n=3). Approximately 71% of the patients were IL28B genotype CT/TT, the more difficult to treat mutation, 64% were male and 17% were African American. The complete early virologic responses (cEVR) across the 200 mg, 400 mg, and 800 mg sovaprevir dose groups were 100%, 94% and 100%, respectively.

Today, the Company reported SVR4 rates of 90%; 85%; and 100% in the 200 mg, 400 mg, and 800 mg dose groups, respectively, after 24 weeks of therapy consisting of 12 weeks of sovaprevir and P/R followed by additional 12 weeks of P/R. In all, 39 patients were assigned to receive an additional 12 weeks of P/R therapy with the remaining 14 patients assigned to receive an additional 36 weeks of P/R.

** One patient withdrew for AE deemed unrelated to sovaprevir.
++ One patient withdrew consent, one patient moved, both undetectable at the time of withdrawal; two patients withdrew for AEs deemed unrelated to sovaprevir.
* Two patients lost to follow-up, both undetectable at last assessment.
** One patient lost to follow up, undetectable at last assessment.

As previously reported, sovaprevir was generally well tolerated across all dose groups. Adverse events (AEs) in patients receiving sovaprevir were classified as mild to moderate and were transient. The most common AEs were consistent with P/R treatment.

Additional clinical trial results, including SVR4 and SVR12 for all patients treated with sovaprevir followed by an additional 12 weeks or 36 weeks of P/R, are expected be reported during the first quarter of 2013.

ACH-3102: Phase 1 trial in Healthy Volunteers and HCV-infected patients

In May 2012, Achillion initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of single and multiple ascending doses of ACH-3102, a once daily, second-generation, pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor, in healthy volunteers.

To date, 42 healthy volunteers have received a single dose of ACH-3102, ranging from 25 mg to 1,000 mg. An additional 24 healthy volunteers have received 14 days of once daily ACH-3102, with doses ranging from 25 mg to 75 mg. Preliminary data from both the single and multiple ascending dose groups demonstrated that ACH-3102 was well tolerated at all doses evaluated. There were no serious adverse events, no clinically significant changes in vital signs, electrocardiograms (ECGs), or laboratory evaluations. All reported adverse events were classified as mild or moderate, and were transient in nature.

Achillion announced today the initiation of enrollment of patients with genotype 1 HCV into a Phase 1 study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and antiviral activity of ACH-3102. The trial will initially evaluate the safety and antiviral activity of a single dose of ACH-3102. Initial results are expected to be reported during the third quarter of 2012.

Conference Call
Achillion will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EDT. To participate in the conference call, please dial (877) 266-0482 in the U.S. or (631) 291-4565 for international callers. The conference call ID is 13643523. A live audio webcast of the call will be accessible at, 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 Alternatively, a replay of the conference call will be available starting at 1:00 p.m. EDT on August 8, 2012, through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 15, 2012 by dialing (800) 585-8367 or (404) 537-3406. The replay passcode is 13643523.

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, more than twice as widespread as HIV. Three-fourths of the 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.

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 HCV 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 that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including statements with respect to the expected safety, efficacy and potential benefits of sovaprevir, expectations about milestone achievement including the potential to achieve proof-of-concept for ACH-3102 and initiation of all-oral, interferon-free clinical trials evaluating regimens containing sovaprevir (ACH-1625) and ACH-3102 for the treatment of HCV. Among the 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: replicate in later clinical trials positive results found in earlier stage nonclinical studies and clinical trials of its drug candidates, including ACH-1625 and ACH-3102; 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, 2011 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.

CONTACT: Company Contact: Glenn Schulman Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tel. (203) 624-7000 Media: Christin Culotta Miller Ogilvy PR Tel. (646) 229-5178 Investors: Mary Kay Fenton Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tel. (203) 624-7000 Investors: Seth Lewis The Trout Group, LLC Tel. (646) 378-2952 Source: Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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