July 22, 2010

Achillion Pharmaceuticals Announces Nomination of NS5A Inhibitor as a Lead Clinical Candidate for Treatment ff HCV

press release

July 22, 2010, 7:04 a.m. EDT

ACH-2928 Demonstrates Excellent Potency Against HCV RNA Replication, Holds Potential for Combination Therapy

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jul 22, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!achn (ACHN 2.40, -0.02, -0.83%) , a leader in the discovery and development of treatments for the most challenging infectious diseases, today announced the nomination of a lead clinical candidate in its fourth proprietary program against hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The candidate, ACH-2928, is an NS5A inhibitor that in preclinical studies has demonstrated excellent potency against HCV RNA replication, as well as good pharmacokinetic and safety profiles.

"The overall profile of ACH-2928 demonstrates that it is highly active and retains potency against HCV genotypes 1a and 1b, as well as across other genotypes. The compound's high potency, in the picomolar range, and its favorable pharmacokinetic properties strongly suggest once-daily dosing," said Milind S. Deshpande, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Achillion. "Importantly, we believe ACH-2928 is highly effective in combination with NS3 protease inhibitors, NS5B polymerase inhibitors, interferon and ribavirin."

Michael D. Kishbauch, Achillion's President and CEO, stated, "The nomination of this novel NS5A clinical candidate is both exciting and significant. The treatment paradigm for HCV is moving toward combination therapies, and we are now poised to pursue our own combination therapies, putting ACH-2928 together with our highly potent protease inhibitors, ACH-1625 and ACH-2684. The development of our fourth proprietary HCV program underscores the depth of our robust drug discovery expertise in this important therapeutic area. We have initiated IND-enabling testing of ACH-2928, and plan to initiate combination treatment in 2011."

"The nomination of ACH-2928 is further evidence of our expertise in HCV drug discovery and structure-based design. We continue to build discrete intellectual property estates to which we retain all commercial rights," concluded Kishbauch.

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 -- hepatitis C, resistant bacterial infections and HIV. For more information on Achillion Pharmaceuticals, please visit www.achillion.com or call 1-203-624-7000.

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 factors, including statements with respect to the potency, safety and other characteristics of our drug candidates, which may not be duplicated in future preclinical studies or in future clinical studies, if any; Achillion's expectations regarding the timing of other preclinical and clinical trials. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are: uncertainties relating to results of clinical trials, unexpected regulatory actions or delays, and Achillion's ability to obtain additional funding required to conduct its research, development and commercialization activities. 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, 2009.

All forward-looking statements reflect Achillion's expectations only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as reflecting Achillion's views, expectations or beliefs at any date subsequent to the date of this release. Achillion anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause these views, expectations and beliefs to change. However, while Achillion may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. ACHN-G

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, http://www.globenewswire.com/

SOURCE: Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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