Achillion down 10% premarket after Janssen backs out of hep C collaboration

|About: Achillion Pharmaceutic... (ACHN)|By:, SA News Editor

Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACHN) slips 10% premarket on light volume in response to its announcement that Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE:JNJ) Janssen Pharmaceuticals has terminated their global license and collaboration agreement related to hepatitis C and has stopped development of JNJ-4178, a combination of three direct-acting antivirals: AL-335, odalasvir and simeprevir.

CEO Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., says, “We are disappointed by Janssen's decision to discontinue HCV development given the positive data presented in phase 2a with JNJ-4178, demonstrating a 100% cure rate  after only six weeks of therapy. While we believe that patients worldwide would benefit from convenient, short-duration therapies like JNJ-4178, we remain fully focused on advancing our factor D portfolio of complement alternative pathway inhibitors in areas where patient needs are greatest, and using our strong balance sheet of almost $370 million in cash and cash equivalents at June 30, 2017 to do so."

Management will host a conference call this morning at 9:00 am ET to discuss its plans.