UPDATED: Buoyed by 6-week hep C data, Achillion sets out to test even faster cure

While Regulus was getting dinged this morning following some careful scrutiny of its latest hep C data, Achillion came out on top with new trial results which demonstrated that a combination of its NS5A inhibitor and Gilead's Sovaldi triggered a 6-week cure among all of the patients in a small study. And now researchers are using the data to set the stage to see if the results can be replicated even faster in a 4-week trial.

Investigators found that 50 mg of ACH-3102 and 400 mg of sofosbuvir did the trick for 12 out of 12 treatment-naive genotype 1 patients. CEO Milind Deshpande touted the results as the shortest duration, highest response results yet seen. He added: "Given the exceptional profile of ACH-3102, we will now be evaluating four- and six-week treatment durations that leverage all of our HCV assets including ACH-3102, ACH-3422, and sovaprevir."

Achillion is still looking to enter a fast-crowding marketplace. Competing drugs from Gilead and AbbVie have forced out earlier standard remedies with oral combos that are much easier to tolerate and much more likely to provide a lasting cure. The goal now is to find ways to do it quicker and with less expense, providing an opening for some of the companies still in the hunt.


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