Wk

10/4

Company

Bank

Analyst

Coverage

Opinion

 chg

 cls

Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN)

Baird

Brian Skorney

Downgrade

Neutral (from outperform)

-62%

$2.72

Deutsche Bank

Alethia Young

Downgrade

Hold (from buy)

Piper Jaffray

Edward Tenthoff

Downgrade

Neutral (from overweight)

William Blair

Y. Katherine Xu

Downgrade

Market perform (from outperform)

Skorney lowered his target to $4 from $12 after FDA did not lift a clinical hold on sovaprevir, a second-generation selective inhibitor of HCV NS3 protease (see BioCentury, Sept. 30). Skorney also said ACH-3012 plus sovaprevir and ribavirin led to "poor" rapid virologic response (RVR) data in HCV genotype 1a patients, which he believes calls into question whether ACH-3012 "is meaningfully differentiated from the rest of the NS5A space." Last month, Achillion reported interim Phase II data showing the combination led to RVR rates of 50-80% in HCV genotype 1a (see B18).

Young also lowered her target to $4 from $13. She lowered the chance of success of sovaprevir to 30% from 50%. Young also thinks shares are range-bound due to a lack of catalysts.

Tenthoff also lowered his target to $5 from $15. Tenthoff thinks Achillion will discontinue sovaprevir and move forward with follow-on HCV NS3 protease inhibitor ACH-2684, which is in Phase I. He now values Achillion's HCV franchise at $448M, down from $1.4B.