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Achillion Pharma At A Glance: new HCV drugs
 
 
 
 
Tue, 26 Jan 2010 09:55:00 EST
 
(RTTNews) - Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( ACHN | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating) is scheduled to host a Corporate and Clinical Update conference call on Monday, February 1, highlighting the company's progress in its pipeline of HCV drugs. The company will also provide an update on its partnering efforts related to its antibiotic candidate ACH-702 as well as its HIV product candidate Elvucitabine.
 
Achillion's product pipeline includes ACH-1625 and ACH-1095 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection; ACH-702 for the treatment of serious, resistant bacterial infections and Elvucitabine for the treatment of HIV.
 
ACH-1625, a potent HCV inhibitor, is under phase I study. The preliminary results of a phase Ib study of ACH-1625 reported early this month showed that there is a dramatic reduction in viral load after 5 days of monotherapy and continued suppression of viral load after drug discontinuation.
 
ACH-1095, which targets a viral protein called NS4A, is preparing to enter phase I clinical studies pending FDA consultation. ACH-1095 was developed in collaboration with Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) under a license agreement crafted between the two companies on November 24, 2004.
 
Since Gilead indicated that it does not intend to initiate clinical development of ACH-1095, Achillion and Gilead in May of 2009 agreed in principle to modify their license agreement to allow for advancement of ACH-1095 by Achillion, subject to certain opt-in rights of Gilead.
 
There continues to be a significant unmet need in the Hepatitis C arena, given the limited efficacy in some population and safety profile of the current standard treatment for HCV, Peginterferon-alfa in combination with Ribavirin. According to Achillion, ACH-1625 has the potential to offer convenient once-daily dosing and an improved safety and tolerability profile compared with other protease inhibitors being studied for the treatment of hepatitis C.
 
Research firm Decision Resources estimates that the hepatitis C virus drug market will increase from $2.7 billion in 2008 to nearly $7.7 billion in 2013 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.
 
Schering-Plough Corp. (SGP), which makes Peg-Intron/Rebetrol and Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding AG, which makes Pegasys/Copegus are the two well-established players in the hepatitis C market. In 2008, Peg-Intron/Rebetrol generated sales of $1.2 billion for Schering-Plough, while Pegasys/Copegus fetched $1.5 billion in sales for Roche.
 
ACH-702, a potential treatment for hospital-based bacterial infections, has completed preclinical studies. With a potent broad-spectrum bactericidal activity, the company believes that ACH-702 may play an important role in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria. Drug resistance is resulting in an alarming rise in the incidence of hospital-acquired infections and presents new market opportunities.
 
Elvucitabine, Achillion's lead HIV product candidate is being evaluated in phase II clinical trials to further explore its safety and efficacy in HIV-infected patients over 48 and 96-weeks of treatment, and the open-label extension of one trial remains ongoing through this year. Achillion is currently seeking to enter a collaboration arrangement for Elvucitabine. Achillion is yet to market a drug and Elvucitabine is its most advanced drug candidate.
 
Last week, the company priced a firm commitment underwritten public offering of 10.27 million shares of its common stock at public offering price of $2.08 per share. The net proceeds of the offering are expected to be about $19.7 million and will be used for general corporate purposes.
 
Achillion went public in October 2006, pricing its shares at $11.50 each. Over the last twelve months, ACHN has traded in the range of $1.04-$3.89.
 
Stay tuned... Michael Kishbauch, Achillion's President and CEO will lead the company's management team in hosting the conference.
 
 
 
 
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