Achillion Pharmaceuticals Collaborates With NCI and NIAID For the Discovery of a New Class of HIV Drugs

- CRADA Uses Achillion's Zinc Finger Targeting Technology -



Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, a
 privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development
 and commercialization of innovative anti-infective agents, today announced the
 implementation of a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)
 with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Allergy
 and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).  The CRADA is focused on the design and
 investigation of a class of drugs, based on Achillion's proprietary Zinc
 Finger Targeting Technology, to inhibit a novel target in HIV.
     The intent of the CRADA is to identify and optimize effective novel
 therapeutic agents for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.  This research collaboration
 will utilize Achillion's proprietary Zinc Finger Targeting Technology to
 discover compounds that will target the "zinc finger" segments of proteins
 critical to viral replication, such as the HIV nucleocapsid p7 (NCp7) protein.
 Achillion is currently conducting late stage pre-clinical testing of several
 HIV NCp7 inhibitors.
     "We are pleased to collaborate with the NCI and NIAID in the exploration
 of this novel class of drugs," said Dr. William G. Rice, president, chief
 executive officer and chief scientific officer of Achillion.  "By working
 together with these two prestigious institutions, Achillion will be the
 beneficiary of additional extraordinary scientific expertise.  Most
 importantly, this collaboration will help further our efforts to ultimately
 develop innovative treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS."
     Utilizing the company's proprietary Zinc Finger Targeting Technology,
 Achillion rapidly targets small molecule inhibitors to discrete zinc finger
 domains of key proteins in a particular infectious agent.  Zinc finger
 domains, which provide critical and specific biochemical functions, are highly
 conserved among strains of a particular pathogen but are structurally distinct
 from pathogen to pathogen.  Thus, zinc fingers offer viable molecular motifs
 for highly selective targeting of small molecule inhibitors in a number of
 therapeutic domains.
 
     Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical
 company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel
 treatments with a particular emphasis on antiviral drugs to treat infections
 caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C viruses
 (HBV and HCV), and herpes viruses.  The Company's lead compound, ACH-126,443
 is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials for HBV infection.
 
     This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve
 risks and uncertainties.  Such statements are only predictions and the
 company's actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these
 forward-looking statements.  Factors that may cause such differences include
 the risk that products that appeared promising in early research and clinical
 trials do not demonstrate safety or efficacy in larger-scale clinical trials
 and the risk that the company will not obtain approval to market its products.
 
 

SOURCE Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, a
 privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development
 and commercialization of innovative anti-infective agents, today announced the
 implementation of a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA)
 with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Allergy
 and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).  The CRADA is focused on the design and
 investigation of a class of drugs, based on Achillion's proprietary Zinc
 Finger Targeting Technology, to inhibit a novel target in HIV.
     The intent of the CRADA is to identify and optimize effective novel
 therapeutic agents for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.  This research collaboration
 will utilize Achillion's proprietary Zinc Finger Targeting Technology to
 discover compounds that will target the "zinc finger" segments of proteins
 critical to viral replication, such as the HIV nucleocapsid p7 (NCp7) protein.
 Achillion is currently conducting late stage pre-clinical testing of several
 HIV NCp7 inhibitors.
     "We are pleased to collaborate with the NCI and NIAID in the exploration
 of this novel class of drugs," said Dr. William G. Rice, president, chief
 executive officer and chief scientific officer of Achillion.  "By working
 together with these two prestigious institutions, Achillion will be the
 beneficiary of additional extraordinary scientific expertise.  Most
 importantly, this collaboration will help further our efforts to ultimately
 develop innovative treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS."
     Utilizing the company's proprietary Zinc Finger Targeting Technology,
 Achillion rapidly targets small molecule inhibitors to discrete zinc finger
 domains of key proteins in a particular infectious agent.  Zinc finger
 domains, which provide critical and specific biochemical functions, are highly
 conserved among strains of a particular pathogen but are structurally distinct
 from pathogen to pathogen.  Thus, zinc fingers offer viable molecular motifs
 for highly selective targeting of small molecule inhibitors in a number of
 therapeutic domains.
 
     Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical
 company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel
 treatments with a particular emphasis on antiviral drugs to treat infections
 caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C viruses
 (HBV and HCV), and herpes viruses.  The Company's lead compound, ACH-126,443
 is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials for HBV infection.
 
     This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve
 risks and uncertainties.  Such statements are only predictions and the
 company's actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these
 forward-looking statements.  Factors that may cause such differences include
 the risk that products that appeared promising in early research and clinical
 trials do not demonstrate safety or efficacy in larger-scale clinical trials
 and the risk that the company will not obtain approval to market its products.
 
 SOURCE  Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.