Why Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Shares Briefly Spiked Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ACHN  ) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat infectious diseases, jumped by as much as 13% after detailing positive clinical activity for experimental hepatitis-C drug ACH-3102 in an oral presentation at the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver conference in Australia. Shares have since backed off and are now up just 4% as of this writing.

So what: According to Achillion's findings in patients with genotype 1b hepatitis-C, ACH-3102, when given with sovaprevir and a ribavirin, demonstrated a sustained virologic response (i.e., undetectable levels of the hepatitis-C virus) at the 12-week mark in all eight patients -- even those with the Y93 mutation. Achillion's oral presentation also noted, via a second oral presentation, "Despite the presence of up to six linked mutations identified at baseline in the NS5A protein, ACH-3102, without the co-administration of interferon or a second direct-acting antiviral, was able to suppress viral replication with no virologic breakthrough observed during 12 weeks of treatment."

Now what: What we have here seems to be the trademark of Achillion Pharmaceuticals: rich and robust promise from early and perhaps even midstage data, but the inability thus far to move anything beyond midstage trials. Because Gilead Sciences already has Sovaldi approved to treat HCV, and it appears that an approval for AbbVie's direct-acting antiviral is likely as well, Achillion's window of opportunity is shrinking by the day. With that being said, I don't personally see much upside potential in Achillion's share price until it can successfully move its key HCV products into late-stage development.

Achillion may be spiking higher today, but chances are it'll have a difficult time keeping pace with this top stock in 2014
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2876448, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/23/2014 5:50:56 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement