Shares of Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ACHN) - Get Achison, Inc. Class A Report were down 15.5% to $4.15 in early trading on Monday, Sept. 11, after Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. terminated its license and collaboration pact with the New Haven, Conn.-based firm on a hepatitis C project.
Janssen Sciences Ireland UC announced Monday it has decided not to continue development of investigational hepatitis C treatment regimen JNJ-4178, pointing to the "increasing availability of a number of highly effective therapies addressing the medical need in hepatitis C." Shares of Johnson & Johnson were trading at $131.97, up 0.8%.
The ongoing Phase 2 studies of JNJ-4178 will be completed, but there won't be additional development beyond that.
Janssen will focus its hepatitis R&D efforts on chronic hepatitis B, "where a high unmet medical need still exists," said Lawrence M. Blatt, global therapeutic area head, infectious disease therapeutics at Janssen, in a statement.
In a separate statement, Achillion president and CEO Milind Deshpande expressed disappointment with Janssen's decision to discontinue hepatitis C development "given the positive data presented in phase 2a with JNJ-41781, 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," Deshpande added.
Meanwhile, shares of Idera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IDRA) - Get Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report rose 16.5% to $2.27 after the company presented positive data from a Phase 1/2 study of IMO-2125, Idera's toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 agonist, in tandem with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s (BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report ipilimumab (Yervoy) addressing patients with treatment-resistant melanoma. The presentation took place at the 2017 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress in Madrid.
Other biotech movers include ContraVir Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CTRV) . Shares of the Edison, N.J.-based firm were up 4.3% to $0.53 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration greenlighted ContraVir's investigational new drug application for its lead HBV compound, tenofovir exalidex, for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet:
- Hurricane Irma Disaster Sends Looters Descending on a Florida Foot Locker: Watch
- Apple Shares Jump on Reports of $1,000 Price Tag For Anniversary iPhone
- Hurricane Irma Spurs Price Gouging Accusations at Happiest Place on Earth Disney
- 15 Collectibles That Are Completely Worthless (Such as Your McDonald's Toys)
Read more of TheStreet's biotech coverage.