Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN)

CAPS Rating: 2 out of 5

A biopharmaceutical company focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments for infectious diseases

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4
Player Avatar zzlangerhans (99.84) Submitted: 7/2/2010 2:34:26 PM : Outperform Start Price: $2.17 ACHN Score: +20.25

As hard as it might seem to justify green-thumbing a company that sounds like a sneeze, I'm going to give it a shot anyway.

In 2006 Achillion (bless you) stock maxed out at 20 on the strength of a partnership with Gilead on hepatitis C antiviral ACH-806. In February 2007 the share price was cut in half when ACH-806 development had to be terminated due to nephrotoxicity. The share price continued to decline steadily and bottomed at 0.75 in December 2008. Ouch.

Achillion's new kid on the block is hepatitis C protease inhibitor ACH-1625. In December 2009 the share price nearly doubled after they reported preliminary positive data from a phase Ib trial of ACH-1625 showing a 3.94 log10 reduction in viral load after 5 days of monotherapy at 600mg bid. In May 2010 they reported further encouraging results in new cohorts, with about 3.86 log10 reduction of viral load at 300mg bid and 600mg qd.

Achillion is also developing elvucitabine, a nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitor for HIV. In February 2010 they presented phase II data showing similar activity of elvucitabine to lamivudine in triple combination therapy. 95% of patients who reached 96 wks of treatment achieved undetectable viral load, but the company did not report how many of the subjects were responders and continued the full 96 weeks of treatment.

After the most recent dilutive financing of 21M in January 2010, Achillion should be set for cash through the end of the year. I'm not foreseeing any short-term positive catalysts, but I think this is a good price at which to slip into the stock. I would hope for upward momentum later this year from the initiation of mid-stage trials of ACH-1625.

Member Avatar naughtyguy (33.21) Submitted: 8/23/2011 7:56:44 PM
Recs: 0

I can never figure out why so many members of MF with high scores often green thumb biotech stocks that aren't close to approval. I see them lose a lot of points this way, although they have plenty to lose. I'll red thumb for now and maybe will change to a green thumb in a year or two when the stock gets down to $2 - $3

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