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Achillion Announces Receipt of SBIR Grant from National Institutes of Health for New Area of HIV Research
 
 
  NEW HAVEN, Conn., May 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc., today announced that the Company has received a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research Grant (SBIR) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant covers Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) research in the antiretroviral area known as capsid inhibition. The grant will support Achillion's program for identifying small molecule HIV capsid assembly inhibitors, and to further characterize capsid inhibition as a method of HIV treatment.
 
The HIV virus is protected by a protein coat known as a capsid. Capsid proteins play an essential role in the life cycle of HIV, by enabling the formation of the mature, infectious viral particle. HIV infectivity is critically dependent upon the proper formation and stability of the capsid, thus making the capsid protein an attractive antiviral target.
 
"Resistance to existing classes of antiretroviral therapy among HIV infected patients is increasing. As a potential new approach to HIV treatment, we believe that capsid inhibitors should have an improved resistance profile in comparison to existing antiretroviral drugs," commented Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Chief Scientific Officer of Achillion.
 
Achillion's capsid research is a collaborative effort with Prof. Michael Summers, Howard Hughes Medical Fellow at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Prof. Summers has determined the three-dimensional structure of the capsid protein and identified molecules that prevent capsid maturation.
 
"Achillion is gratified to have Prof. Summers as a collaborator and to be recognized under the NIH's SBIR program," continued Deshpande. "Our goal with this grant is to determine the three-dimensional structure of the inhibitor- bound capsid protein and apply this information for the screening and optimization of small molecule candidates. Furthermore, we intend to identify the virologic attributes of these candidates and characterize their mechanism of action."
 
About Achillion
 
Achillion is an innovative pharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing important new treatments to patients with infectious disease. The company'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 -- HIV, hepatitis and resistant bacterial infections. For more information on Achillion Pharmaceuticals, please visit the company's web site at http://www.achillion.com or call Achillion at 1-203-624-7000.
 
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements are only predictions and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause such differences include the risk that products that appeared promising in early research and clinical trials do not demonstrate safety or efficacy in larger-scale clinical trials and the risk that the company will not obtain approval to market its products.
 
For further information, contact: Jonas M. Niaura Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tel. (203) 752-5486 Media: Kari Lampka MacDougall Biomedical Communications, Inc. Tel. (508) 647-0209 klampka@macbiocom.com SOURCE Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
 
05/02/2005 07:30 ET
 
 
 
 
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