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Achillion Pharma Announces Unable to Resolve Clinical Hold

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Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACHN) today provided an update on development of compounds in its pipeline of therapies for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus, or HCV. Achillion today received a response from the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, on the clinical hold related to sovaprevir, Achillion's NS3 protease inhibitor. The FDA response indicated that, while Achillion's submission addressed all issues noted in the FDA's June 29, 2013 letter, the FDA concluded that the removal of the clinical hold is not warranted.

"While we are disappointed that we were not able to resolve the clinical hold at this time despite having addressed all the issues, we believe the breadth of our portfolio allows us to quickly advance other all oral combination regimens for the treatment of HCV," stated Milind Deshpande, President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion. "With our Phase 2 NS5A inhibitor, ACH-3102, we are in a position to rapidly initiate combination studies with ACH-2684, our protease inhibitor, with results expected in 2014. Further, we continue to advance our uridine-analog nucleotide, ACH-3422, with which we anticipate initiating clinical trials in the first half of 2014."

ACH-2684 has completed all of the necessary preclinical and clinical trials necessary to support advancement into Phase 2 combination development. Achillion previously reported robust anti-viral activity with ACH-2684 as monotherapy including Phase 1b data in both non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic treatment-naïve HCV genotype (GT) 1 patients. In addition, Achillion will continue to work to resolve the clinical hold related to sovaprevir.

Phase 2 -007 Trial of Sovaprevir and ACH-3102 with Ribavirin

Achillion also announced interim data from the ongoing -007 Phase 2a clinical trial evaluating two doses of sovaprevir, either 200 mg or 400 mg once daily, in combination with 50 mg once daily of ACH-3102 and ribavirin (rbv) twice daily for 12 weeks in patients with treatment-naïve GT 1a or 1b hepatitis HCV.

The Phase 2 trial is a double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the safety, tolerability and efficacy of 12 weeks of sovaprevir, ACH-3102 and rbv in up to 50 treatment-naïve patients with chronic GT 1a or GT 1b HCV. The first segment enrolled 30 patients who were randomized to receive a combination of either 200 mg or 400 mg sovaprevir once daily in combination with a 150 mg loading dose followed by a 50 mg daily dose of ACH-3102, and twice daily doses of rbv, or matching placebos. The primary endpoints for this trial include safety, tolerability, and sustained viral response 4 weeks after the completion of dosing (SVR4). The trial is being conducted at sites in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

All patients achieved a very rapid virologic response (vRVR) with HCV RNA less than 25 IU/ml by week 2. Potent efficacy was observed against GT 1b HCV with 100% of patients achieving rapid viral response, or RVR, with HCV RNA levels less than 10 IU/mL at week 4. RVR was achieved in 79% of GT1 patients overall.

To date, the combination of sovaprevir and ACH-3102 with rbv for up to 12 weeks has been well tolerated with no drug-related serious adverse events, no clinically significant changes in vital signs or electrocardiograms. There have been no graded increases in liver function tests, including ALT or AST, for patients receiving active treatment to date. No other laboratory abnormalities were noted with the exception of decreases in hemoglobin observed and attributed to ribavirin.

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