Share price of
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
) shot up on Nov 12, after the company announced its third
quarter results. Although the stock has witnessed a slight
volatility since then, overall the share price has risen 9.2%.
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Achillion reported third quarter 2013 loss of 14 cents per share,
narrower than the year-ago as well as the Zacks Consensus
Estimate loss of 20 cents and 19 cents per share, respectively.
The narrower loss was due to lower operating expenses.
Achillion did not record any revenues in both the third quarter
2013 and in the comparable year-ago period.
In the third quarter of 2013, general and administrative expenses
increased 3.3% to $2.7 million due to higher non-cash stock based
compensation and business development consulting fees. Research
and development expenses fell 10.3% year over year to $11.3
million, reflecting lower investment in sovaprevir and ACH-2684.
Achillion primarily focuses on developing therapies for hepatitis
C virus (HCV) infection and other infections. Pipeline candidates
for the treatment of HCV at Achillion include sovaprevir
(clinical hold from phase II), ACH-3102 (phase II), ACH-2684
(phase Ib completed, a phase II, 12-week trial with ACH-3102 and
ACH-2684 with and without ribavirin planned) and ACH-3422 (pre
clinical studies, filing for initiation of a phase I trial planed
for the second quarter of 2014).
In Sep 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided
to retain the clinical hold on sovaprevir. The FDA had placed a
clinical hold on sovaprevir after observing elevations in liver
enzymes in a phase I study.
We note that
) Incivek and
) Victrelis are approved for the treatment of HCV among others.
Moreover, many large cap companies are developing drugs for the
treatment of HCV
Achillion carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now,
) looks attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).