Ipsen is paying €120 million up front to acquire global rights to elafibranor, a Genfit drug that fell short as a treatment for NASH, but is currently in Phase 3 testing in another liver disease, primary biliary cholangitis. Meanwhile, Genfit is adding an early-stage drug candidate to its own pipeline via a separate transaction.
GlaxoSmithKline sees enough promise in the early clinical data of a novel NASH drug to pay its developer, Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, $120 million up front for rights to the experimental therapy. The Arrowhead drug uses RNA interference to “silence” an enzyme associated with the progression of the fatty liver disease.
Clinical tests of drugs from Gilead Sciences and Novo Nordisk have yielded encouraging results in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and the partners now want to see if the drug combinations help patients in a larger mid-stage study. The planned Phase 2b study expands on a 2019 R&D alliance.