Achillion Pharmaceuticals has signed a worldwide licence and collaboration agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialise hepatitis C virus (HCV) assets.
Under the deal, the companies will develop and commercialise one or more of Achillion’s lead hepatitis C virus (HCV) assets, including ACH-3102, ACH-3422, and sovaprevir.
Achillion Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Dr Milind Deshpande said: “We believe that Janssen’s renowned expertise in HCV development and commercialisation enables a synergistic opportunity to rapidly advance our combined HCV assets toward the market, while simultaneously achieving an optimised treatment regimen for all HCV patients.”
Janssen will receive an exclusive and worldwide licence from Achillion to develop and commercialise HCV products and regimens, containing one or more assets.
The deal will allow Achillion to receive multiple payments based upon achievement of specified development, regulatory and sales milestones, while Janssen will take responsibility for all of the development costs within the collaboration and all subsequent costs related to commercialisation of the HCV assets.
Initially, the companies will carry research on Achillion’s ACH-3102, in combination with an NS3/4A HCV protease inhibitor plus an NS5B HCV polymerase inhibitor from the collaboration.
It is a second-generation NS5A inhibitor currently in Phase II clinical studies and received fast track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC in a separate equity transaction has agreed to invest $225m in Achillion, which will allow it to receive around 18.4 million newly issued and unregistered shares of Achillion at a price of $12.25 per share.
Image: Electron micrographs of hepatitis C virus purified from cell culture. Photo: courtesy of Maria Teresa Catanese, Martina Kopp, Kunihiro Uryu and Charles Rice.