While pursuing the development of its lead programs in the HCV therapeutic space and exploratory work on novel antibacterials, Achillion continues to engage in the preclinical development of earlier-stage drug candidates. Currently, the Company's principal early-stage programs include the following:
HCV Inhibitor Program - Similar to the current treatment paradigm in HIV, Achillion believes combination therapy for the treatment of chronic HCV infection will benefit from drugs that inhibit HCV replication through complementary mechanisms of action. Achillion has leveraged its experience in HCV drug discovery to identify inhibitors that are distinct in its NS3 protease inhibitors and NS5A inhibitors programs that meet potentially best-in-class target product profiles. In preclinical and clinical studies, Achillion has demonstrated that these inhibitors have the potential to be efficacious against HCV.
Antibacterial Program - Achillion has received a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the further study and characterization of a back-up series of compounds related to its novel antibacterial, ACH-702. The new compounds in the series to be studied demonstrate excellent inhibition of the essential bacterial enzyme DNA gyrase, and have improved metabolic stability. In particular, preliminary data show potent target inhibition of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis gyrase enzyme which translated in vitro to good antibacterial activity against drug-resistant tuberculosis. Achillion plans to profile and optimize several additional analogs prior to potential selection of a lead candidate for further development.