potential development, regulatory and sales milestone payments and a
separate equity investment –
Janssen responsible for all development costs within the collaboration
and all subsequent costs related to commercialization of the assets –
NEW HAVEN, Conn., May 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN)
announced today that it has entered into a worldwide license and
collaboration arrangement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Janssen),
one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to
develop and commercialize one or more of Achillion’s lead hepatitis C
virus (HCV) assets which include ACH-3102, ACH-3422, and sovaprevir.
“We are excited to collaborate with Janssen for the worldwide
development of our HCV assets in combination with their HCV portfolio.
We believe that Janssen’s renowned expertise in HCV development and
commercialization enables a synergistic opportunity to rapidly advance
our combined HCV assets toward the market while simultaneously achieving
an optimized treatment regimen for all HCV patients,” said Milind
Deshpande, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion.
“Furthermore, we believe that their investment in Achillion through
Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC allows us to maximize the value
from our HCV portfolio and also positions us to become a leader in
complement factor D inhibition, applying our broad platform to a wide
number of complement-related diseases. We believe this strategy provides
an ideal scenario to create further value for our shareholders.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Achillion will grant Janssen an
exclusive, worldwide license to develop and, upon regulatory approval,
commercialize HCV products and regimens containing one or more of
Achillion’s HCV assets. Achillion is eligible to receive a number of
payments based upon achievement of specified development, regulatory and
sales milestones. Achillion is also eligible to receive tiered royalty
percentages between mid-teens and low-twenties based upon future
worldwide sales. Janssen will be responsible for all of the development
costs within the collaboration and all subsequent costs related to
commercialization of the HCV assets.
A key objective of the collaboration will be to develop a
short-duration, highly effective, pan-genotypic, oral regimen for the
treatment of HCV. An initial regimen that will be explored will feature
Achillion’s ACH-3102, a second-generation NS5A inhibitor currently in
Phase 2 clinical studies that has been granted Fast Track designation by
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in combination with an NS3/4A
HCV protease inhibitor plus an NS5B HCV polymerase inhibitor from the
Additionally, in an equity transaction separate to the exclusive
license and collaboration arrangement, Johnson & Johnson Innovation –
JJDC, Inc. will invest $225 million in Achillion and, in return,
receive approximately 18.4 million newly issued, unregistered shares of
Achillion at a price of $12.25 per share.
The transactions, including the equity sale, are subject to customary
closing conditions, including termination or expiration of any
applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Transitional
clinical development and technology transfer activities under the
collaboration are expected to take place over the next several months.
Centerview Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to Achillion.
Leerink Partners also advised the Company. WilmerHale acted as legal
counsel for Achillion in connection with the transactions.
Achillion will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast on
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. To participate in the
conference call, please dial (866) 205-4820 in the U.S. or (419)
386-0004 for international callers. A live audio webcast of the call
will be accessible at http://www.achillion.com or http://ir.achillion.com.
Please connect to Achillion’s website several minutes prior to the
start of the broadcast to ensure adequate time for any software download
that may be necessary.
A replay of the webcast will be available for 30 days on www.achillion.com.
Alternatively, a replay of the conference call will be available
starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on May 19, 2015, through 11:59 p.m.
Eastern time on May 25, 2015 by dialing (855) 859-2056 or (404)
537-3406. The replay passcode is 51773113.
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