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Still In The Race: Achillion Says Its HCV Candidates Are “Best-In-Class”

This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily

Executive Summary

In a year of turmoil in HCV drug development, Achillion has advanced just by staying steady. The biotech could do so with an NS5A inhibitor that shows efficacy in patients with mutated strains of the virus and a strong-performing protease inhibitor.

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Schrodinger’s Candidate? Achillion’s Sovaprevir On Clinical Hold, But Phase II Combo Trial Continues

Following findings of elevated liver enzymes in a Phase I drug/drug interaction study, FDA placed Achillion’s protease inhibitor sovaprevir on clinical hold. But the agency is allowing an ongoing Phase II combination trial with NS5A inhibitor ACH-3102 in HCV to continue, probably due in part to clean safety reads from other DDI studies with the protease inhibitor.

Schrodinger’s Candidate? Achillion’s Sovaprevir On Clinical Hold, But Phase II Combo Trial Continues

Following findings of elevated liver enzymes in a Phase I drug/drug interaction study, FDA placed Achillion’s protease inhibitor sovaprevir on clinical hold. But the agency is allowing an ongoing Phase II combination trial with NS5A inhibitor ACH-3102 in HCV to continue, probably due in part to clean safety reads from other DDI studies with the protease inhibitor.

Achillion Strengthens Clinical Team, Readies HCV Nuc For Clinical Development

CSO Milind Deshpande will succeed Michael Kishbauch as CEO, while two HCV veterans from other companies will strengthen Achillion’s clinical development team. Meanwhile, the virology firm expects to file an IND for a nucleoside polymerase inhibitor later this year; only two antivirals from that class currently are in clinical development in HCV.

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