Update (4:20 p.m.): Updated with Tuesday market close information.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN) surged for a second consecutive day on Tuesday after the FDA removed its clinical hold on sovaprevir, one of Achillion's four experimental hepatitis C treatments.
The FDA had placed the hold in June because of abnormal liver results in patients. Achillion can now begin trials with a once-daily maximum dose of 200 mg of sovaprevir in hepatitis C patients and other healthy volunteers.
The company also announced it had begun initial dosing with ACH-3422, another of its experimental hepatitis C treatments.
Achillion surged Monday amid news that Merck (MRK) would purchase biotechnology company Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) for $3.85 billion as it tries to strengthen its position in the increasingly competitive hepatitis C sector.
Achillion could be the next acquisition target for larger companies. CNBC reported Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Abbvie (ABBV) were both interested in buying Idenix but Merck secured the purchase. Those companies, among others, could now turn their focus to Achillion, which has a pipeline of hepatitis C drugs.
The stock closed up 83.29%, or $3.54, to $7.79. More than 69.6 million shares changed hands, which dwarfed the average volume of 2,128,800.
For more on this story, read TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein's article here.