Unfortunately, another hepatitis C drug developed by Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) suffered a major setback. On July 1, the U.S. FDA placed a clinical hold on its hepatitis C drug sovaprevir after elevations in liver enzymes were noted in an early-stage study of the drug’s interaction with an HIV drug. Elevations in liver enzymes could be an indication of liver damage. Although the hold does not affect mid-stage study, the company may not recruit new subjects when the study is on hold. The new drug could potentially lose access to market for HIV patients and affect doctors’ decisions to prescribe. The company plans to provide more data from two drug-interaction studies and a safety analysis of continuing sovaprevir studies to the regulatory agency in six weeks to resolve the hold. Although the financial impact for the hold cannot be properly assessed yet, Achillion’s share price plunged over 20% upon the release of this FDA hold.
For investors interested in profiting from the new hepatitis C drugs, both AbbVie and Gilead Sciences are sounding bet. For the long-term, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) will remain one of the best, solid investment targets when it comes to hepatitis C diagnosis.
The article Why Investors Should Care About Hepatitis C originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Nick Chiu.
Nick Chiu has put position of Achillion Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Nick is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
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