Achillion shares rocket up on promising hep C data

Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals rocketed up 66 percent in premarket trading as investors rallied to the news that an early-stage trial had delivered proof of concept data for its hepatitis C drug--ACH-1625.

Researchers reported that ACH-1625 delivered a mean 3.94 log10 reduction in viral load, with a good safety and tolerability profile. In the placebo group, the mean viral load reduction was only 0.22 log10. And two subjects in the small drug arm reached a point where their viral load was undetectable. The drug is a reversible inhibitor of NS3 protease.

"In addition to the dramatic reduction in viral load after 5 days of monotherapy, ACH-1625 demonstrates slow viral rebound, which is an important differentiating characteristic, as this continued suppression of viral load after discontinuation of the drug may translate into a more durable antiviral response," noted Dr. Elizabeth Olek, the chief medical officer at Achillion. "These positive proof-of-concept results corroborate our findings from pre-clinical studies with ACH-1625, which demonstrated high potency, unique pharmacokinetic properties, and an excellent safety profile."

It's all good for Achillion this week. The developer announced yesterday that Nasdaq had notified the company that it is back in compliance with the exchange's minimum stockholders' equity requirement.

- Check out Achillion's release on the data
- here's the report from Reuters