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viewAchillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Achillion reports preliminary results from early stage Hep C trial

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Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACHN) said Monday that its investigational drug ACH-2928 for chronic Hepatitis C (HCV) showed good safety and tolerability results from a phase one trial.

The compound, which was discovered through the company’s NS5A inhibitor program, is designed to treat subjects with HCV.

In a statement, chief executive, Michael Kishbauch, said: "We believe NS5A inhibitors have emerged as an important component for an all-oral, direct acting antiviral regimen.

"Furthermore, NS5A inhibitors, when combined with a protease inhibitor, have achieved sustained viral responses in clinical trials in tough to treat genotype 1 HCV populations."

Protease inhibitors are a class of drugs used to treat and prevent infection by viruses such as hepatitis C and HIV.

In July 2011, Achillion began a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1a/1b clinical trial to investigate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic profile and antiviral activity of ACH-2928.

The trial consisted of three segments: single ascending oral doses in healthy volunteers, evaluation of three days of oral repeat doses in subjects with genotype 1a or 1b HCV, and a five day multiple dosing segment in healthy volunteers.

No serious adverse events were reported and there were also no patient discontinuations during the treatment, the company said.

Based upon the preliminary results, the drug maker said the ongoing phase 1 study will go on to assess the pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and antiviral profile of ACH-2928.

In addition, the phase 1 results have been submitted for presentation at a medical meeting slated to be held in the second quarter of 2012.

About 170 million people are infected with HCV worldwide, which is a disease that infects the liver and is spread through exposure to infected blood.

The American Association of Liver Disease estimates that up to 80 percent of individuals become chronically infected following exposure to the virus. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis can lead to permanent liver damage, liver cancer, and death.

Achillion is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of treatments for infectious diseases.

Shares of Achillion were up 15 cents, or 2.19 percent, to trade at $7 today on the Nasdaq.

Quick facts: Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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NASDAQ:ACHN
Market: NASDAQ
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