Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that it has begun dosing in a phase 1 clinical trial of ACH-2684 for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

“This first-in-human clinical trial will be instrumental in establishing the safety profile of ACH-2684 in humans,” Elizabeth A. Olek, D.O., vice president and chief medical officer of Achillion stated in the press release. “It will also provide Achillion with important preliminary efficacy data against HCV genotypes 1 and 3, and help us to select doses for subsequent clinical development.”

The clinical study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which scientists will evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic profile and antiviral activity of ACH-2684.

The trial will be conducted in the United States and is designed to enroll up to 78 healthy volunteers and up to 40 HCV-infected patients.

Michael D. Kishbauch, president and CEO Achillion, said the company hopes that it can advance ACH-2684 as a unique pan-genotypic protease inhibitor to be administered once daily.

He also noted that phase 2 trials of the company’s lead inhibitor ACH-1625, is on the horizon.

Today’s announced clinical trial, along with upcoming additional clinical trials, position the company to execute its goal of becoming a leading industry player.

“Furthermore, we expect to shortly launch the 12-week segment of the phase 2 trial of our lead ACH-1625 protease inhibitor, as well as a phase 1 trial of our ACH-2928 NS5A inhibitor. We believe we remain poised to deliver a trio of important HCV clinical milestones near the end of this year, namely, 12-week EVR results on ACH-1625 and human proof-of-concept data on both ACH-2684 and ACH-2928,” Kishbauch stated in the press release. “These are all important components in our ultimate strategy of becoming a leader in the development of HCV combination therapies involving our protease and NS5A inhibitors.”

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