Achillion initiated a program to discover and develop drug candidates effective against the hepatitis C virus in 2002, and is using its expertise in a proprietary program to develop inhibitors of NS3 protease.
Achillion believes its lead drug candidate from this program, sovaprevir (previously ACH-1625), has the following benefits:
Pharmacokinetics. With its rapid and extensive partitioning to the liver, as well as high liver/plasma ratios demonstrated in vivo, sovaprevir has good potential for once daily dosing.
Virology. Sovaprevir has shown low single-digit nanomolar potency that is specific to HCV. It is equipotent against HCV genotypes 1a and 1b at IC50 ~1nM.
Safety. High safety margins have been established in both single ascending dose and repeat dose studies in humans. Overall, the compound is well tolerated with minimal side effects.