NEW HAVEN, Conn., May 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Kishbauch has decided to retire. In conjunction with this decision, the Board has appointed President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer, Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer and to the Board of Directors. Mr. Kishbauch, who will continue working with management over a three month transition period, will remain a Director on the Achillion Board and is being appointed Chair of a newly-formed Strategy and Corporate Development Committee of the Board. Mr. Kishbauch commented, "Following nearly nine eventful and productive years at Achillion, where I have been privileged to see the advancement of seven novel compounds to clinical development, the Company's initial public offering and the evolution to a scientifically and financially stable organization, I have decided that the moment is right to transition leadership, and I am very pleased that the Board has enthusiastically supported Dr. Deshpande to succeed me as Chief Executive Officer. I remain fully confident in the portfolio of HCV assets we have advanced, including sovaprevir and ACH-3102, and believe they have the potential to produce clinical results that will enable Achillion to compete effectively in the substantial HCV market." David Scheer, Chairman of Achillion, commented, "During his tenure at Achillion, Mike has done a remarkable job advancing Achillion's discoveries through development and toward commercialization. The strength and cohesiveness of the management team that he has cultivated ensures a seamless transition, and we are very fortunate and honored to have Dr. Deshpande take over the reins at this most important time for the Company." "I wish to thank Mike for his leadership and mentorship over the past nine years," commented Dr. Deshpande. "I am humbled by the Board's decision and excited for the opportunity to bring Achillion into late stage clinical development, working closely with the very talented senior management team and workforce that we have assembled who have a history of bringing promising compounds through clinical development and to the market."