The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the most common cause of viral hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver. It is currently estimated that over 170 million people are infected with HCV worldwide. The American Association of Liver Disease estimates that up to 85% of individuals become chronically infected following exposure. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis can lead to permanent liver damage, which can result in the development of liver cancer, liver failure or death. It is the leading cause of liver transplantation in the U.S.
Few therapeutic options currently exist for the treatment of HCV infection. The current standard of care is limited by its specificity for certain types of HCV, significant side-effect profile, injectable route of administration and high cost. Achillion's approach in developing new therapies for HCV is focused on inhibitors targeting HCV NS3 protease and NS5A. First, in a proprietary program targeting the HCV NS3 protease, Achillion is advancing through Phase 2 ACH-1625, a potent HCV inhibitor with an excellent preclinical safety profile and unique pharmacokinetics supporting once-daily dosing. Second, Achillion is advancing through Phase 1 ACH-2684, a pan-genotypic NS3 protease inhibitor with excellent potency in the pico-molar range and activity on emerging resistant HCV variants.Finally, Achillion is advancing the first candidate from its NS5A program ACH-2928, a potent pico-molar inhibitor of HCV NS5A that demonstrates pan-genotypic activity, including activity against HCV genotype 1a.
Introduction to Viruses and HCV
The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the most common cause of viral hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis can lead to permanent liver damage, which can result in the development of liver cancer, liver failure or death. more
HCV has an exceptionally high mutation rate, a factor that may help it elude the host's immune response and increase resistance to current therapies. There is therefore a pressing need for new HCV therapies with greater efficacy, improved safety profiles and greater ease of patient use. more
Current Market Opportunity
Achillion's dual approach to HCV focuses on the discovery and development of product candidates specific proven targets, NS3 protease, and NS5A, a key component in multiple steps of viral replication. The Company has developed preclinical and clinical candidates of both types. more on NS3 inhibitors