A faster cure? Achillion med mixed with Sovaldi clears hep C in just 6 weeks
- Achillion Pharmaceuticals on Monday said that mid-stage trials of its investigational hep C therapy ACH-3102 showed impressive results when combined with Gilead's Sovaldi.
- The ACH-3102/Sovaldi cocktail reportedly eliminated the hepatitis C virus in patients after just six weeks of treatment.
- Treatment with Gilead's Harvoni, which combines Sovaldi an NS5A inhibitor, takes 8 weeks to clear the virus, making the Achillion/Gilead cocktail significantly more effective from a time-management standpoint. Achillion's stock is up more than 17% on the news.
If the mid-stage study results hold up, Achillion could have a hep C cure that is effective in just half the time of AbbVie's Viekira Pak and works two weeks faster than Harvoni. According to Reuters, the trial involves 50 mg of the Achillion investigational compound and 400 mg of Sovaldi in untreated hep C patients with genotype 1 of the virus.
And Achillion isn't done yet. Company CEO Milind Deshpande said that the next steps will involve testing other investigational compounds with the goal of curing hep C in six weeks and even four weeks.
But Gilead is already working on Sovaldi/Harvoni formulations that work in four to six weeks. And considering that Achillion doesn't have an approved hepatitis C therapy (and Gilead has a considerable first-to-market advantage), the trial results may not lead to a tangible market share for Achillion.