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Idenix Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Phase II All-Oral Combination Study of Samatasvir (IDX719) and Simeprevir (TMC435) for the Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection

Phase II HELIX-1 Trial is First HCV Clinical Study to Commence Through Collaboration Agreement With Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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| Source: Idenix Pharmaceuticals

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:IDIX), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases, today announced the initiation of the phase II HELIX-1 clinical trial evaluating an all-oral, direct-acting antiviral (DAA) HCV combination regimen of samatasvir (IDX719), Idenix's once-daily pan-genotypic NS5A inhibitor, and simeprevir (TMC435), a once-daily protease inhibitor jointly developed by Janssen R&D Ireland and Medivir AB.

The HELIX-1 trial is a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, parallel group study evaluating the safety and tolerability of samatasvir and simeprevir in addition to antiviral activity endpoints, with a target enrollment of 90 treatment-naïve, non-cirrhotic, genotype 1b or 4 HCV-infected patients. Patients will be randomized equally across three treatment arms, receiving either 50, 100, or 150 mg samatasvir once-daily for 12 weeks in combination with simeprevir plus ribavirin. The HELIX-1 trial is the first study in HCV-infected patients to commence under a non-exclusive collaboration agreement signed with Janssen in January 2013. A second trial (HELIX-2) of samatasvir, simeprevir and TMC647055, a once-daily non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor boosted with low-dose ritonavir being developed by Janssen, is expected to initiate in the second half of 2013.

"We are pleased with the progress of our samatasvir program and its advancement into phase II following successful completion of a drug-drug interaction study with simeprevir earlier this year," said Ron Renaud, Idenix's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our goal is to initiate multiple two- and three-DAA trials of samatasvir through the Janssen collaboration. Additionally, we look forward to advancing our own internal combination of samatasvir with our lead uridine nucleotide analog by the end of this year."

ABOUT THE IDENIX/JANSSEN COLLABORATION

In January 2013, Idenix entered into a non-exclusive collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for the clinical development of all-oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) HCV combination therapies. The collaboration will evaluate combinations including samatasvir, simeprevir, and TMC647055.  In addition to the HELIX-1 phase II trial, the companies also plan to initiate HELIX-2 which will evaluate a three-DAA combination of samatasvir, simeprevir and TMC647055/r, with and without ribavirin.  The clinical trials will be conducted by Idenix.  Both Idenix and Janssen retain all rights to their respective compounds under the agreement.

ABOUT SAMATASVIR (IDX719)

Samatasvir is an NS5A inhibitor with low picomolar, pan-genotypic antiviral activity in vitro.  To date, samatasvir has been safe and well-tolerated after single and multiple doses of up to 150 mg in healthy volunteers for up to 14 days duration and up to 100 mg in HCV-infected patients up to 3 days duration.  There have been no treatment-emergent serious adverse events reported in the program.  Samatasvir has demonstrated potent pan-genotypic antiviral activity in HCV-infected patients with mean maximal viral load reductions up to approximately 4.0 log10 IU/mL across HCV genotypes 1-4 in a proof-of-concept, three-day monotherapy study.

ABOUT SIMEPREVIR (TMC435)

Simeprevir is a once-daily potent investigational hepatitis C protease inhibitor in late phase III clinical development being jointly developed by Janssen R&D Ireland and Medivir AB to treat chronic hepatitis C virus infections.  Simeprevir is being investigated in combination with PegIFN/RBV in phase III trials and is also being evaluated with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) agents in three other phase II interferon-free combinations both with and without ribavirin (RBV).  For further details please visit http://www.medivir.com.

ABOUT HEPATITIS C

Hepatitis C virus is a common blood-borne pathogen infecting three to four million people worldwide annually. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with HCV, representing a nearly 5-fold greater prevalence than human immunodeficiency virus.

ABOUT IDENIX

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a biopharmaceutical Company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases.  Idenix's current focus is on the treatment of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. For further information about Idenix, please refer to www.idenix.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to the statements regarding the Company's future business and financial performance.  For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements.  Without limiting the foregoing, the words "expect," "plans," "anticipates," "intends," "will," and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking statements, as are expressed or implied statements with respect to the Company's potential pipeline candidates, including any expressed or implied statements regarding the efficacy and safety of IDX719 or any other drug candidate; the successful development of novel combinations of direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of HCV; the likelihood and success of any future clinical trials involving IDX719 or our other drug candidates; and expectations with respect to funding of operations and future cash balances.  Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the following: there can be no guarantees that the Company will advance any clinical product candidate or other component of its potential pipeline to the clinic, to the regulatory process or to commercialization; management's expectations could be affected by unexpected regulatory actions or delays; uncertainties relating to, or unsuccessful results of, clinical trials, including additional data relating to the ongoing clinical trials evaluating its product candidates; the Company's ability to obtain additional funding required to conduct its research, development and commercialization activities; changes in the Company's business plan or objectives; the ability of the Company to attract and retain qualified personnel; competition in general; and the Company's ability to obtain, maintain and enforce patent and other intellectual property protection for its product candidates and its discoveries.  Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements.  These and other risks which may impact management's expectations are described in greater detail under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in any subsequent periodic or current report that the Company files with the SEC.

All forward-looking statements reflect the Company's estimates only as of the date of this release (unless another date is indicated) and should not be relied upon as reflecting the Company's views, expectations or beliefs at any date subsequent to the date of this release.  While Idenix may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so, even if the Company's estimates change.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals Contact:
Teri Dahlman, (617) 995-9807