updated 9/15/2010 9:18:39 AM ET 2010-09-15T13:18:39

ACH-1625 Protease Inhibitor Abstract Accepted as Late Breaking Poster

Growing Data Set Underscores Company's Significant HCV Franchise

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 15, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN), a leader in the discovery and development of treatments for the most challenging infectious diseases, today announced that its abstract titled "ACH-1625 Demonstrates Sustained Viral Suppression in Presence of Uncommon Drug Resistant HCV Variants: Pharmacokinetic, Pharmacodynamic and Clinical Virology Analysis of Phase I Study" has been accepted as a late breaking poster presentation at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD) The Liver Meeting® 2010 being held October 29-November 2, 2010 in Boston.

Two additional abstracts on ACH-1625 titled "In Vitro Combination Studies of ACH-1625 (HCV NS3 Protease Inhibitor) and ACH-2928 (HCV NS5A inhibitor) in Presence and Absence of Ribavirin" and "Non-Clinical Studies to Assess Drug-Drug Interaction Potential of ACH-1625, a Clinically Effective HCV NS3 Protease Inhibitor" had previously been accepted for poster presentation.

In addition, an abstract on ACH-2684 titled "HCV NS3 Protease Inhibitor with Potent Activity against Multiple Genotypes and Known Resistant Variants" was previously accepted for poster presentation.

Achillion's late breaking poster will be displayed in the Late Breaking Poster Session on Monday, November 1 at 8:00 a.m. through the end of the day's session. The balance of the Company's posters will be displayed in the HCV Therapy: Preclinical and Early Clinical Development Poster Session on Tuesday, November 2 at 7:00 a.m. through the end of the day's session. 

"The Liver Meeting 2010 is noteworthy for Achillion because, for the first time, we are presenting a significant amount of clinical data in support of our expanding HCV pipeline of products. The clinical data for ACH-1625 further supports this compound's potential to be a best-in-class therapy, and our pre-clinical data elucidate the potential for powerful combination therapies with our own drug candidates," noted Michael Kishbauch, President and Chief Executive Officer

"We were especially pleased to have our data selected for a Late Breaking poster as it underscores the importance of our positive clinical data with ACH-1625 to treat HCV since only a few such submissions were chosen for Late Breaking presentation. We look forward to sharing our positive results with the clinical and scientific audience at AASLD and to advancing ACH-1625 into Phase 2 studies this month."

About American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

AASLD is the leading organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease. AASLD was founded in 1950 by a small group of leading liver specialists to bring together those who had contributed to the field of hepatology.

AASLD has grown to an international society responsible for all aspects of hepatology, and its annual meeting, The Liver Meeting®, has grown in attendance from 12 to over 7,000 physicians, surgeons, researchers, and allied health professionals from around the world.

Hepatology has been recognized as a discipline only in the last few decades, and AASLD played a seminal and unifying role in focusing interest on hepatological problems, as well as the founding of other hepatological societies. AASLD organized the American Liver Foundation to educate the public about liver diseases.

About ACH-1625

ACH-1625 is an HCV protease inhibitor designed and synthesized based on crystal structures of enzyme/inhibitor complex. ACH-1625 is an open chain, non-covalent, reversible inhibitor of NS3 protease. In preclinical studies, ACH-1625 demonstrated high potency, unique pharmacokinetic properties and an excellent safety profile at high drug exposures. With its rapid and extensive partitioning to the liver, as well as high liver/plasma ratios demonstrated in preclinical studies, Achillion believes that ACH-1625 has the potential for once daily dosing. ACH-1625 has shown low single-digit nanomolar potency that is specific to HCV. It is equipotent against HCV genotypes 1a and 1b at IC50~1nM.

In clinical studies completed to date, subjects receiving both single and multiple ascending doses ranging from 50 mg to 2000 mg for periods up to 5 days demonstrated that ACH-1625 was well tolerated at all doses and there were no serious adverse events, no clinically significant changes in vital signs, electrocardiograms (ECGs), or laboratory evaluations.  HCV-infected patients receiving doses ranging from 200 to 600 mg twice daily, and 400 to 600 mg once daily, showed mean maximal reductions in viral load ranging from of 3.81og10 to 4.25 log10. Furthermore, all patients had viral loads that remained suppressed for at least 7 days after dosing was completed, maintaining a mean reduction of more than 2.0log10 from baseline through day 12, the last day of viral load measurement in the study. 

About ACH-2684

ACH-2684 is a high potency protease inhibitor with potency in the picomolar range and activity against all HCV genotypes including highly-resistant strains of the HCV virus. The potency and virology profile of ACH-2684 demonstrates that it very effectively suppresses a broad range of natural variants of the hepatitis C virus, and may be effective in prevention and treatment of emerging resistant variants. This compound also retains potent activity against all genotypes.

About ACH-2928

ACH-2928, an NS5A inhibitor with potent activity against all genotypes, is highly effective in combination with NS3 protease inhibitors, NS5B polymerase inhibitors, interferon and ribavirin. In preclinical studies ACH-2928 has demonstrated excellent potency against HCV RNA replication, as well as good pharmacokinetic and safety profiles. 

About Achillion

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 ACH-1625, which may not be duplicated in future cohorts at different doses or in future clinical studies of longer duration; Achillion's expectations regarding timing and duration of other clinical trials, including additional dosing cohorts. 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 and unexpected regulatory actions or delays. 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.

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