Achillion (ACHN) Appoints Dr. Joel Barrish As Chief Scientific Officer

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 04, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced that Joel Barrish, Ph.D., has been named the Company's Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Executive Vice President, effective January 4, 2016.

"It is with great excitement that we welcome Joel to Achillion as CSO," commented Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion. "Joel is a highly accomplished drug hunter who has co-invented and developed multiple clinical compounds, including the highly successful marketed therapeutic Sprycel for which he received The Thomas Alva Edison Award. Most recently, Joel served as the Vice President and Head of Discovery Chemistry for all therapeutic areas, including Immunology, at Bristol-Myers Squibb. We look forward to him continuing his work to address the needs of patients by stewarding Achillion's expanding portfolio of complement factor D inhibitors including ACH-4471 which is poised to enter clinical development."

Dr. Barrish commented, "Achillion is an exciting and innovative company whose discovery and development achievements have impressed me for many years. I am delighted to join an exceptional team and share in this unique opportunity to advance Achillion's Complement inhibitor platform. I believe that ACH-4471 and the ongoing discovery efforts related to factor D inhibition represent significant potential to address unmet needs, not only for patients with ultra-rare diseases, but as potentially improved treatment options for ophthalmic, respiratory and other broad indications."

Joel C. Barrish, Ph.D.

Dr. Barrish joins Achillion with more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. For the last five years, Dr. Barrish was Vice President and Head of Discovery Chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), leading chemical research on small molecules and other modalities across all therapeutic areas and sites. Prior to that role, he was responsible for teams at BMS that advanced more than 20 compounds into clinical development including SPRYCEL® (dasatinib), a marketed kinase inhibitor used for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia, which he co-invented. He and his co-inventors received the 2008 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for its discovery. Dr. Barrish has co-authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications, is a co-inventor on more than 35 issued U.S. patents, and has been invited to give more than 40 lectures at international conferences and universities. In 2010, Dr. Barrish was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Division and served as its Chair in 2013. He was named an American Chemical Society Fellow in 2012. Dr. Barrish is also a Scientific Advisory Board member for the chemistry departments at the University of Pennsylvania and at Rutgers University.

Dr. Barrish graduated summa cum laude in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and received a doctorate in Organic Chemistry from Columbia University.

About Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) is a science-driven, patient-focused company seeking to leverage its strengths across the continuum from discovery to commercialization in its goal of providing better treatments for people with serious diseases. The company employs a highly-disciplined discovery and development approach that has allowed it to pursue best-in-class oral antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C (HCV) and build a platform of potent and specific complement inhibitors. Achillion is rapidly advancing its efforts to become a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company with a goal of bringing life-saving medicines to patients with rare diseases. More information is available at

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Achillion may use words such as "expect," "anticipate," "project," "intend," "plan," "aim," "believe," "seek," "estimate," "can," "focus," "will," "look forward," "goal," and "may" and similar expressions to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements also include statements about the potential clinical advancement of ACH-4471 and the potential for ACH-4471 and the Company's ongoing discovery efforts related to factor D inhibition to address unmet medical needs across multiple disease indications. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are risks relating to, among other things Achillion's ability to: advance the preclinical and clinical development of its drug candidates, including ACH-4471 and other complement factor D inhibitors, under the timelines it projects in current and future preclinical studies and clinical trials; obtain and maintain patent protection for its drug candidates and the freedom to operate under third party intellectual property; demonstrate in any current and future clinical trials the requisite safety, efficacy and combinability of its drug candidates; obtain and maintain necessary regulatory approvals; establish commercial manufacturing arrangements; identify, enter into and maintain collaboration agreements with appropriate third-parties; compete successfully in the markets in which is seeks to develop and commercialize its product candidates and future products; manage expenses; manage litigation; raise the substantial additional capital needed to achieve its business objectives; and successfully execute on its business strategies. These and other risks are described in the reports filed by Achillion with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, and its subsequent SEC filings.

In addition, any forward-looking statement in this press release represents Achillion's views only as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Achillion disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statement, except as required by applicable law.

Company Contact: Glenn Schulman Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tel. (203) 624-7000 [email protected] Investors: Mary Kay Fenton Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tel. (203) 624-7000 [email protected] Media: Mike Beyer Sam Brown Inc. Tel: (312) 961-2502 [email protected] Investors: Tricia Truehart The Trout Group, LLC Tel. (646) 378-2953 [email protected]