NEW HAVEN, Conn., May 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced the appointment of David Apelian, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, effective May 28, 2013. Dr. Apelian wll assume responsibility for the clinical development of Achillion's portfolio of compounds to treat HCV. In addition, Achillion also announced today the expansion of its clinical operations group with the recent addition of Kevin Kucharski, formerly head of clinical operations at Pharmasset, who will serve as Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations. "We are delighted that David is bringing his wealth of hepatitis and drug development expertise to Achillion. His operational and regulatory experience, highlighted by the regulatory approval of antivirals such as interferon alpha-2b/ribavirin and entecavir, will greatly benefit Achillion as we accelerate our development plans and seek to initiate registrational studies with sovaprevir and ACH-3102 during the latter part of next year," commented Michael D. Kishbauch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion. Dr. Apelian commented, "It is a very exciting time for me to be joining Achillion as Chief Medical Officer, and I look forward to further accelerating the development of the all-oral, interferon-free regimens containing sovaprevir and ACH-3102 for the treatment of chronic HCV." Mr. Kishbauch also stated, "As Achillion continues its maturation into a late-stage biopharmaceutical company, the addition of both Kevin and David will expand our bandwidth, providing critical expertise and the support necessary for our HCV clinical development programs and our planned Phase 3 development." David Apelian, M.D., Ph.D., MBA Dr. Apelian brings to Achillion more than 13 years of industry experience from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering Plough and GlobeImmune where he focused on hepatology and infectious disease clinical development. Dr. Apelian was Clinical Director in the Infectious Diseases Group at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), serving as medical co-lead for the clinical development and NDA submission of entecavir for chronic hepatitis B viral infection (HBV). Prior to BMS, Dr. Apelian served as Clinical Director in the Department of Hepatology/Gastroenterology at Schering Plough, coordinating a supplemental NDA filing for interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin for the treatment of pediatric patients with chronic hepatitis C viral infection (HCV). Most recently, Dr. Apelian served as Senior Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer at GlobeImmune, where he was responsible for clinical development, regulatory affairs, clinical immunology, development of companion diagnostics, as well as target discovery and preclinical research.