Achillion Pharmaceuticals
Feb 25, 2016
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Achillion Reports 2015 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Financial Results

Strong Balance Sheet to Support Planned 2016 Clinical Expansion of Complement Factor D Platform

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 25, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today reported financial results for the three and twelve month periods ending December 31, 2015.

For the three months ended December 31, 2015, the Company reported net income of $17.0 million, compared to a net loss of $21.6 million in the three months ended December 31, 2014. For the full year ended December 31, 2015, the Company's net loss was $5.0 million, or $0.04 per share, compared to a net loss of $69.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, or $0.70 per share. Cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, and interest receivable at December 31, 2015 were $460.5 million.

"2015 was a transformational year for Achillion that we believe positions us for future success. We established a world-wide collaboration with Janssen, who is currently evaluating a combination therapy with odalasvir, which we believe has the potential to change the HCV treatment paradigm. Our strong balance sheet enables us to advance innovative therapies, discovered by our scientists, that could significantly improve the lives of patients with complement-mediated diseases," commented Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion.

Dr. Deshpande further commented, "As a leader in complement biology, we look forward to achieving a number of milestones throughout 2016 with ACH-4471, our first, orally-administered, small molecule complement factor D inhibitor being developed as a potential treatment for PNH and other complement-mediated rare diseases. We plan to report interim results from the ongoing phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers that aims to generate insights into the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ACH-4471 in the second quarter. And by the end of this year, we plan to report results from a multiple ascending dose study of ACH-4471 in healthy volunteers, as well as initiate a phase 2 trial for patients with PNH."

Highlights of 2015

Key 2016 Planned Milestones

ACH-4471, small-molecule factor D inhibitor

Dr. Joel Barrish, Chief Scientific Officer at Achillion, commented, "Achillion has established a robust and differentiated platform to evaluate and advance potential complement factor D inhibitors tailored to specific indications. Throughout 2016, we plan to continue to optimize distinct chemical candidates with attributes suitable for alternative delivery routes for potential use in ophthalmic indications, including dry AMD, and for respiratory indications such as COPD."

World-wide collaboration for HCV with Janssen

Fourth Quarter 2015 Financial Results

The Company reported net income of $17.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2015, compared to a net loss of $21.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2014.

Achillion recognized in the fourth quarter of 2015 revenue of $31.6 million under the Janssen Agreement, representing a portion of the premium paid by JJDC associated with its equity purchase of Achillion common stock which was being recognized over the 180-day technology transfer period. No revenue was recognized during the three months ended December 31, 2014.

Research and development expenses were $9.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to $16.4 million for the same period of 2014, the change primarily resulting from increased preclinical and manufacturing costs related to Achillion's complement inhibitor program that were offset by decreased clinical trial costs related to its ACH-3422 clinical trials, its odalasvir and sofosbuvir combination trial and ACH-3422 clinical and manufacturing costs. Personnel costs and non-cash stock-based compensation also increased.

For the three months ended December 31, 2015, general and administrative expenses totaled $5.5 million, compared to $5.2 million in the same period in 2014, the increase primarily due to increased personnel and facilities costs due to the addition of personnel, partially offset by decreased corporate legal fees.

Year-end 2015 Financial Results

For the year ended December 31, 2015, the Company reported a net loss of $5.0 million, compared to a net loss of $69.0 million in 2014. For the year ended December 31, 2015, research and development expenses totaled $56.6 million, compared to $53.5 million in 2014. The increase in research and development costs from 2014 to 2015 was primarily due to increased preclinical and manufacturing costs related to the Company's complement inhibitor program. These amounts were partially offset by decreased clinical trial costs related to its ACH-3422 clinical trials, odalasvir and sofosbuvir combination trial and ACH-2684 clinical and manufacturing costs. Personnel and non-cash stock-based compensation costs also increased due to the addition of personnel in the drug development group.

General and administrative expenses were $24.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015, compared to $15.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2014, the increase primarily due to increased business consulting and corporate legal fees related to the Janssen Agreement, increased corporate fees and taxes, and increased personnel and non-cash stock-based compensation costs due to the addition of personnel.

2016 Financial Guidance

At December 31, 2015, Achillion had cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and interest receivable of approximately $460.5 million.

The Company expects that research and development expenses during 2016 will be approximately $65-70 million and that net cash used in operating activities in 2016 will be approximately $80 million based on current operating plans, anticipated timelines and the estimated cost of clinical trials and product development programs. The net loss per share for fiscal 2016 is anticipated to approximate $0.65-0.70 per share.

About Complement Factor D Platform

Achillion has leveraged its internal discovery capabilities and a novel complement-related platform to develop drug candidates that are oral inhibitors of complement factor D. Factor D is an essential serine protease involved in the complement pathway, a part of the innate immune system. Achillion's complement platform is focused on seeking to advance compounds that inhibit factor D, can be orally-administered, and can potentially be used in the treatment of immune-related diseases in which complement plays a critical role. Potential indications being evaluated for these compounds include paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Achillion anticipates that its platform could play a role in addressing the needs of all PNH patients, including patients who have suboptimal response to, or fail to respond to, the currently available treatments, as well as for patients suffering from other alternative pathway complement-mediated diseases. Achillion nominated ACH-4471 for clinical development in December 2015, and initiated clinical development in February 2016 with a phase 1 healthy volunteer trial assessing single-ascending doses of ACH-4471.
About Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) is a science-driven, patient-focused company seeking to leverage its strengths across the continuum from discovery to commercialization in its goal of providing better treatments for people with serious diseases. The company employs a highly-disciplined discovery and development approach that has allowed it to pursue best-in-class oral antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C (HCV) and build a platform of potent and specific complement inhibitors. Achillion is rapidly advancing its efforts to become a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company with a goal of bringing life-saving medicines to patients with rare diseases. More information is available at http://www.achillion.com

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. Achillion may use words such as "expect," "anticipate," "project," "intend," "plan," "aim," "believe," "seek," " estimate," "can," "focus," "will," "look forward," "goal," and "may" and similar expressions to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements also include statements about: the Company's positioning for success in 2016 and beyond; the potential benefits of the collaboration with Janssen for treatment of HCV and the Company's expectation that interim top-line results from the ongoing phase 2a trial of odalasvir, AL-335, and simeprevir will be reported during the first half of 2016; the potential for the Company's complement factor D inhibitor program to significantly improve the lives of patients with complement-mediated diseases; the Company's plans to rapidly advance its complement factor D inhibitor platform, including ACH-4471; the expected plans, timing, data readouts and results from ongoing and planned clinical trials of ACH-4471; the Company's estimates with respect to research and development expenses and net cash used in operating activities in 2016 and net loss per share for fiscal 2016;and statements concerning the Company's strategic goals, milestone plans, and prospects. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are risks relating to, among other things Achillion's ability to: advance the preclinical and clinical development of its drug candidates, including its complement factor D inhibitors, under the timelines it projects in current and future preclinical studies and clinical trials; obtain and maintain patent protection for its drug candidates and the freedom to operate under third party intellectual property; demonstrate in any current and future clinical trials the requisite safety, efficacy and combinability of its drug candidates; obtain and maintain necessary regulatory approvals; establish commercial manufacturing arrangements; identify, enter into and maintain collaboration agreements with third-parties, including the current collaboration with Janssen; compete successfully in the markets in which it seeks to develop and commercialize its product candidates and future products; manage expenses; manage litigation; raise the substantial additional capital needed to achieve its business objectives; and successfully execute on its business strategies. These and other risks are described in the reports filed by Achillion with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, and its subsequent SEC filings.

In addition, any forward-looking statement in this press release represents Achillion's views only as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Achillion disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statement, except as required by applicable law.

        
ACHILLION PHARMACEUTICALS INC. (ACHN)
   
Statements of Operations 
   
(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share amounts) 
   
         
  Three Months Ended   Year Ended  
  December 31,   December 31,  
 2015 2014 2015 2014 
         
Revenue$  31,591  $  -   $  66,122  $  -   
         
Operating expenses:        
Research and development   9,642     16,426     56,553     53,515  
General and administrative    5,450     5,235     24,676     15,911  
Total operating expenses   15,092     21,661     81,229     69,426  
         
Loss from operations   16,499     (21,661)    (15,107)    (69,426) 
         
Other income (expense):        
Interest income   466     78     1,188     455  
Interest expense   (13)    (13)    (55)    (37) 
Other income   -      -      8,944     -   
         
Net loss$  16,952  $  (21,596) $  (5,030) $  (69,008) 
         
Net loss per share - basic and diluted $  0.12  $  (0.21) $  (0.04) $  (0.70) 
         
Weighted average shares outstanding - basic and diluted   136,558     100,579     125,592     98,367  
         
      
      
Balance Sheets     
(Unaudited, in thousands)     
      
  December 31,   December 31,   
  2015   2014   
      
Cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities, interest and subscriptions receivable  $  460,540  $  159,167   
Working capital   447,930     141,816   
Total assets   464,525     156,807   
Long-term liabilities   231     279   
Total liabilities   14,889     13,338   
Total stockholders' equity   449,636     143,469   
      

 

Investors:
Glenn Schulman
Senior Director, Investor Relations
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Tel. (203) 624-7000
gschulman@achillion.com

Media:
Liz Power
Senior Director, Public Relations
Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Tel: (203) 752-5509
lpower@achillion.com