Achillion Breaks Through Phase 2 HCV

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Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN) announced updated interim results from its ongoing interferon-free, ribavirin-free Phase 2 study evaluating ACH-3102 and sofosbuvir. Sofosbuvir is a marketed nucleotide polymerase inhibitor. Ultimately the results were positive and the stock is seeing a solid boost in Monday’s trading.

According to the press release:

The primary objective of the study is determination of sustained viral response 12 weeks (SVR12) after completion of therapy. One hundred percent of patients (12/12) in the six-week treatment duration arm achieved SVR12, which included patients with high baseline viral load.

After achieving 100% SVR12 (12/12) in the eight-week cohort, the six-week treatment cohort was initiated. A total of 18 patients were enrolled, including 12 active and six observational patients. Of the 12 active patients enrolled, seven patients were genotype 1a and five were genotype 1b for hepatitis C.

Twelve weeks after the completion of therapy, 100% (12/12) achieved SVR12, independent of baseline viral load, gender and IL28B status, in the six-week treatment arm. Additionally, 100% of patients (12/12) in the eight-week treatment duration arm had achieved SVR24. Overall, the combination of ACH-3102 and sofosbuvir was well-tolerated with no serious adverse events, no discontinuations due to adverse events and no clinically significant laboratory or ECG abnormalities.

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Looking ahead to the next step, Dr. David Apelian, Executive Vice President of Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer at Achillion, said:

We are currently preparing to initiate our SPARTA Phase 2 program which evaluates short treatment durations with our proprietary once-daily regimens of ACH-3102 and ACH-3422, with or without sovaprevir, for treatment naive genotype 1 HCV patients. In parallel, we plan on exploring sofosbuvir-sparing regimens that will leverage shorter durations of sofosbuvir in combination with ACH-3102 and sovaprevir as part of our global development program.

Shares of Achillion were up about 12% at $12.16 in Monday’s premarket trading and opened at $12.09. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $20.06 and a 52-week trading range of $2.45 to $16.00.