NEW HAVEN, Conn., Oct. 13, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN), a leader in the discovery and development of small molecule drugs to combat the most challenging infectious diseases, today announced the nomination of an additional clinical candidate for the treatment of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) from its NS5A inhibitor program. The candidate, ACH-3102, is a second generation NS5A inhibitor that in preclinical studies has demonstrated potent pan-genotypic activity against HCV genotypes 1 - 6, including excellent activity against both the genotype 1a subtype and known mutant variants of genotype 1 HCV.
"Inhibition of the NS5A target is one of the most compelling approaches to treating hepatitis C. With the development of this second generation compound, ACH-3102, with its improved antiviral activity and potency, we continue to deliver on our commitment to advancing potentially best-in-class agents for the treatment of HCV," commented Mingjun Huang, PhD, Vice President of Virology at Achillion.
"We believe that NS5A inhibitors, in combination with protease inhibitors, will play an integral role in achieving the goal of an all-oral once-daily direct acting antiviral regimen that possesses pan-genotypic activity against HCV," commented Michael D. Kishbauch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion. "The advancement of ACH-3102 toward clinical studies, combined with the trial results anticipated near year-end on our protease inhibitors, ACH-1625 and the pan-genotypic agent ACH-2684, and our first generation NS5A inhibitor, ACH-2928, position Achillion's pipeline to deliver multiple potential combination possibilities for an interferon-free treatment for HCV."
About NS5A Inhibitors and ACH-3102
The NS5A protein is a clinically validated target that serves multiple functions at various stages of the HCV life cycle including involvement in virion production, interaction with host proteins and association with interferon-resistance. Achillion's NS5A inhibitors, including ACH-3102, possess potent activity against all HCV genotypes and demonstrate in preclinical studies additive to synergistic activity when combined with NS3 protease inhibitors, NS5B polymerase inhibitors, interferon and ribavirin. In preclinical studies, ACH-3102 has demonstrated excellent potency, in the pico-molar range, against HCV RNA replication, including potent activity against genotype 1a and enhanced activity against recognized genotype 1 resistant variants.
The hepatitis C virus is the most common cause of viral hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver.