Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) shares are up more than 170% in just two days.
In the last trading session, the share price soared 83.29% after
the company announced that the FDA has removed the clinical hold on
its hepatitis C virus (HCV) candidate, sovaprevir, which is an
NS3/4A protease inhibitor.
We remind investors that the regulatory body had placed a clinical
hold on sovaprevir in June last year after observing elevations in
liver enzymes in a phase I study. The FDA has now allowed Achillion
to conduct studies with once daily sovaprevir (a maximum of 200 mg)
in patients suffering from HCV and in single dose trials on healthy
volunteers. However, the FDA maintained a partial clinical hold and
stated that prior review and approval of the protocol will be
required if the company needs to conduct multiple dose studies in
Apart from sovaprevir, another HCV candidate, ACH-3422, is also in
focus at Achillion. The company has started dosing patients in its
phase I study with proof-of-concept results expected this fall.
Moreover, the company plans to initiate all oral combination
studies with ACH-3422 later this year.
We are pleased to see Achillion progressing with its HCV pipeline.
The HCV market is currently led by
). Gilead's HCV treatment Sovaldi (launched in Dec 2013) generated
revenues of $2.27 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Moreover,
the company is looking to get a combination therapy of ledipasvir
and Sovaldi approved in the U.S. and EU. Several big pharma/biotech
are developing therapies targeting the lucrative HCV market.
Achillion had gained 47.6% on Monday's trading session on the
Merck & Co. Inc.
) would be acquiring
Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) for $3.85 billion. The deal represents a premium of approximately
238.9% on Idenix's price before the offer was announced. For more
details, check out our article on the topic "
Idenix Skyrockets on Merck Acquisition Deal
Achillion, with its HCV pipeline, is being viewed as a potential
Achillion carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Gilead is a better-ranked
stock with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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