Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) shares touched a 52-week high of $10.18 on Aug 20 following its
announcement the previous day that the U.S. Patent & Trademark
Office (USPTO) has granted a patent (U.S. Patent No. 8,809,313) to
The patent covers the composition-of-matter and method of use
claims for the company's hepatitis C virus (HCV) candidate,
ACH-3102. The patent also covers structurally related NS5A
inhibitors. The patent terms last until 2032.
Achillion's shares jumped more than 9% last week after announcing
positive results from a phase II study evaluating a ribavirin-free
regimen of ACH-3102 in combination with Gilead's (
) Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) for the treatment of patients suffering from
treatment-naïve genotype 1 chronic HCV infection for eight weeks.
Based on the results, Achillion intends to start a six-week
treatment regimen of ACH-3102 and Sovaldi (read more:
Achillion Pharmaceuticals Soars on Mid-Stage HCV
Achillion has progressed well with its HCV candidates. Apart from
ACH-3102, the company's HCV pipeline also has ACH-3422 (phase I
ongoing) and sovaprevir (phase II).
The HCV market is currently led by Gilead's Sovaldi. Several other
companies like Merck & Co. Inc. (
) and AbbVie Inc. (
) are also developing candidates targeting the lucrative HCV
market. In fact, the successful development of Achillion's HCV
candidates may well turn it to be an attractive acquisition target
for these companies.
Achillion carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Gilead sporting a Zacks
Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is also worth considering.
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