Achillion Appoints Dr. Frank Verwiel to Board of Directors

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Dec. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ACHN) today announced the appointment of Frank Verwiel, M.D., former President and Chief Executive Officer of Aptalis Pharma, to Achillion’s Board of Directors.

David Scheer, Chairman of the Board of Achillion, said, “With his strong knowledge of corporate governance from previous board appointments, and experience over the course of his extensive career in pharmaceutical companies both large and small, we look forward to his insight and guidance as Achillion continues to advance its portfolio of small molecule compounds aimed at addressing the unmet needs of patients.”

Milind Deshpande, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion, commented, “As a maturing biopharmaceutical company with an exciting complement factor D inhibitor platform, we are delighted to have Frank join Achillion’s Board of Directors. With his broad experience across therapeutic disciplines, spanning from discovery through commercialization, Frank’s track record of success complements Achillion’s goal to advance its programs through clinical development and to market.”

Frank Verwiel, M.D.

Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Aptalis Pharma

With more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Verwiel was most recently President, Chief Executive Officer and Board member of Aptalis Pharma. Prior to its acquisition in 2014 by Forest Laboratories for $2.9 billion in an all-cash transaction, Aptalis manufactured, marketed and distributed a broad line of specialty pharmaceutical products and services used in the treatment of cystic fibrosis and gastrointestinal disorders in more than 40 countries. As President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Verwiel defined and implemented a strategy to achieve Aptalis' vision to become the reference GI specialty pharma company. Dr. Verwiel initiated and led the LBO that resulted in Aptalis being acquired in 2008 by TPG Capital for $1.3 billion. In 2011, Axcan Pharma acquired, under Dr. Verwiel’s leadership, the specialty pharma and pharmaceutical technology company Eurand in a transaction valued at approximately $600 million. The combined entity was renamed Aptalis Pharma.

Previously, Dr. Verwiel held international senior management positions with Merck & Co. Inc. including Vice President, Hypertension, Worldwide Human Health Marketing. Dr. Verwiel concurrently served as a leader of Merck's Worldwide Hypertension Business Strategy team. He was also Managing Director of Merck's Dutch subsidiary. During his tenure with Servier Laboratories he was amongst others responsible for Servier's Western European operations.

Dr. Verwiel was a member of Intermune’s Board of Directors, serving as chairman of the Compensation committee and member of the Audit committee, from 2012 until the company’s acquisition by Roche in 2014. Dr. Verwiel was a member of the Board of Directors and the Health Section Governing Board of BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization), and he is currently an observer of the Board and of the Audit committee of Bavarian Nordic A/S.

Dr. Verwiel holds an M.D. degree from Erasmus University, Rotterdam in the Netherlands and an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau in France.

About Achillion Pharmaceuticals

Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN) is a science-driven, patient-focused company leveraging 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

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. 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 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 appropriate third-parties; compete successfully with other companies that are seeking to develop improved therapies for the treatment of HCV; 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.

Company Contact: Glenn Schulman Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tel. (203) 624-7000 Investors: Mary Kay Fenton Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tel. (203) 624-7000 Media: Mike Beyer Sam Brown Inc. Tel: (312) 961-2502 Investors: Tricia Truehart The Trout Group, LLC Tel. (646) 378-2953

Source:Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.