May 9, 2012

Achillion Advances Second Generation Pan-Genotypic NS5A Inhibitor, ACH-3102, Into Clinical Development


May 9, 2012

Structurally Distinct NS5A Inhibitor Displays Potent Preclinical Activity Against Commonly Observed Resistant Variants

NEW HAVEN, Conn., May 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced that it has begun dosing ACH-3102 in a Phase 1 clinical trial. ACH-3102 is Achillion's second generation pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor being investigated for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

ACH-3102 is a structurally distinct small molecule compound that has demonstrated potent inhibition of the NS5A protein across all genotypes of HCV in preclinical studies. Furthermore, the unique chemical structure of ACH-3102 has resulted in enhanced potency in vitro against resistant mutants that have emerged during clinical studies with first generation NS5A inhibitors.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 1 trial will enroll approximately 96 healthy volunteers in the U.S. to investigate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile of ACH-3102. The trial will assess dosing in single and multiple ascending oral doses for up to 28 days.

"We believe that NS5A inhibitors, in combination with protease inhibitors, will play an integral role in achieving the goal of an all-oral interferon-free treatment regimen for all segments of the HCV infected patient population," commented Michael D. Kishbauch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion. "With our continued focus on compounds with potentially best-in-class characteristics, including safety and efficacy, broad genotypic effect with once-daily dosing and enhanced resistance profiles, we hope to move ACH-3102 through Phase 1 for HCV-infected subjects and toward combination studies with ACH-1625, our Phase 2 protease inhibitor, during the third quarter of 2012."

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. ACH-3102, Achillion's second generation NS5A inhibitor, has demonstrated potent activity against all HCV genotypes in vitro and in preclinical studies achieved additive to synergistic activity when combined with NS3 protease inhibitors, NS5B polymerase inhibitors, interferon and ribavirin. In preclinical studies, ACH-3102 demonstrated excellent potency, in the pico-molar range, against wild type HCV RNA replication, as well as potency against resistant mutants that have been identified in clinical studies.

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 global 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 potency, safety, tolerability, effectiveness and other characteristics of Achillion's ACH-1625 and ACH-3102; Achillion's expectations regarding timing for the commencement, completion and reporting of results of clinical trials of ACH-1625 and ACH-3102; and Achillion's ability to advance a potentially best-in-class all-oral, interferon-free combination of ACH-1625 and ACH-3102. 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 preclinical studies and clinical trials of 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.

Source Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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