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Achillion Pharma Rises on Solid Interim Results

Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHN) is making up for lost time with its most recent news. Over the course of 2015 and last year, the stock has suffered, but it is possible that Achillion’s interim trial results may have put the company back on the right track.

The company announced additional interim results from a Phase 2 study evaluating odalasvir (also known as ACH-3102), a NS5A inhibitor, in combination with sofosbuvir, without ribavirin, for either six or eight weeks of treatment in patients with treatment-naïve genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Previously, Achillion reported results from this study including 100% SVR24 for the initial cohorts including 12 patients treated for eight weeks and 100% SVR24 for 12 patients treated for six weeks.

Back in May, Achillion granted Janssen Pharmaceuticals an exclusive worldwide license to develop and, upon regulatory approval, commercialize HCV products and regimens containing one or more of Achillion’s HCV assets, which include odalasvir, ACH-3422, and sovaprevir. It is worth noting that Janssen is one of the subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ).

Achillion is seeking to apply its expertise in biology and structure-guided design and a deep understanding of patient and clinician needs to develop innovative treatment solutions aimed at improving patients’ lives.

Prior to the release of these interim results, a few analysts weighed in on Achillion:

  • Jefferies initiated coverage with a Hold rating and an $8 price target.
  • Maxim group has a Buy rating but lowered its price target to $11 from $19.
  • William Blair reiterated a Buy rating with a $16 price target.

So far in 2015, Achillion has underperformed the market, as shares were down nearly 35% year to date, while shares are only down 32% in the past 52 weeks.

Shares of Achillion were up 2.6% Thursday, at $8.20 in its 52-week trading range of $6.71 to $16.87. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $12.94.

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By Chris Lange


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