Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACHN) announced Wednesday positive results from an ongoing phase 2 trial of ACH-1625, a potential treatment for the hepatitis C virus.
The Phase 2a trial, which consisted of 64 patients, tested the antiviral drug in combination with Pegasys, the current standard of care for hepatitis C, which can lead to liver failure, liver cancer, and even death.
According to Achillion, the study showed that between 75% to 81% of patients receiving ACH-1625 achieved "rapid virologic response".
The Connecticut-based company said the drug also indicated that it had a "promising" safety profile. Patients were randomized across three different doses of the drug, or they were given placebo.
"ACH-1625 continues to demonstrate best-in-class features, including once-daily dosing, robust antiviral activity, coupled with safety and tolerability for patients," said president and CEO Michael D. Kishbauch.
The hepatitis C virus is the most common cause of viral hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver. Current estimates show that 170 million people are infected with hep C worldwide, and that up to 80% of individuals become chronically infected following exposure to the virus.
Achillion, focused on developing treatments for hep C and resistant bacterial infections, said it plans to select two of the doses used in the first part of the phase 2 trial to begin the second segment.
During 2012, the company intends to launch a study to test ACH-1625 in combination with another antiviral agent.