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Achillion, J&J's HCV Combo Drug Phase IIa Study Started

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Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.ACHN announced that Alios Biopharma Inc., a part of Johnson & Johnson's JNJ Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, has started treatment in a phase IIa study evaluating the combination of AL-335, odalasvir (also known as ACH-3102) and Johnson & Johnson's Olysio (simeprevir) in treatment-naïve patients suffering from genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

While AL-335 is a nucleotide-based HCV NS5B polymerase inhibitor, odalasvir and Olysio are HCV NS5A inhibitor and HCV NS3/4A protease inhibitor, respectively.

The randomized, open-label, three-arm study (n~60) will be conducted to assess the safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of AL-335, odalasvir and Olysio. Patients will be randomized to receive a once-daily, triple direct-acting antiviral regimen across three different treatment durations - four, six or eight weeks.

We remind investors that Achillion had entered into an exclusive global license and collaboration agreement with Janssen for the development and commercialization of one or more of Achillion's key HCV treatments including odalasvir, ACH-3422 and sovaprevir in May 2015.

We are encouraged by the companies' progress with the HCV combination treatment. Per information provided by Achillion, HCV is one of the most common causes of viral hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) and over 150 million people are estimated to be infected with HCV across the world with more than 5 million people in the U.S.

We note that competition in the HCV market is intensifying given the presence of companies like Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD and AbbVie Inc. ABBV .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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