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Achillion (ACHN) Q3 Loss Narrows, Pipeline Expansion in Focus

Zacks Equity Research

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ACHN reported a loss of 14 cents per share in the third quarter of 2017, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 18 cents. In the year-ago quarter, the company had reported a loss of 15 cents per share.

The company generated no revenues in the reported quarter as was the case in the year-ago quarter.

Shares of Achillion have underperformed the industry year to date. The company’s shares lost 3.2% whereas the industry registered an increase of 2.3%.

Research and development expenses decreased nearly 6.6% from the year-ago period to $15.6 million due to lower costs related to preclinical studies and manufacturing of ACH-4471 and lower legal fees as well. General and administrative expenses remained flat year over year at $4.8 million.

Pipeline Update

The company is developing its most advanced candidate, ACH-4471, in – paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), immune complex-mediated membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (IC-MPGN) and C3 glomerulopathy (C3G) –  in the United States.

A phase II study on its factor D inhibitor, ACH-4471 for the treatment of patients with PNH is ongoing. An interim analysis has shown clinically meaningful complement inhibition of factor D and a favorable tolerability profile for ACH-4471. The company expects to announce updated interim results by the year end.

Another phase II study on ACH-4471 is expected to start in the first half of 2018. The study will evaluate the candidate in combination with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s ALXN Soliris for potential long-term treatment in PNH patients already being treated with Soliris.

Moreover, the company initiated a phase II study in September on ACH-4471 in patients with C3G to evaluate the effect of a factor D inhibitor on the complement pathway. The company has plans to start another phase II study in the first half of 2018 to evaluate the candidate in patients with biopsy-confirmed C3G or IC-MPGN.

Achillion will evaluate the potential of extended release formulations of ACH-4471 in phase I study, which is expected to start later this year.

Meanwhile, Achillion is planning to advance a number of next-generation factor D inhibitors in preclinical or clinical studies including a phase I study on ACH-5228 expected to start by 2017 end.

In September, Johnson & Johnson JNJ terminated its worldwide license and collaboration arrangement with the company related to development of its hepatitis C treatment. Achillion lost a strong partner with this termination.

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Quote

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Achillion Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A stock in the health care sector worth considering is Exelixis, Inc. EXEL,carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Exelixis’ earnings per share estimates remained stable at 26 cents for 2017 and increased from 63 cents to 64 cents for 2018 over the last 30 days. The company delivered positive earnings surprise in all the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 572.92%. The company’s shares are up 71.2% so far this year.

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