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Pfizer and Novartis partner up to develop combo therapies for NASH

Published on 29/10/18 at 10:25am

Pfizer and Novartis are set to team up in a non-exclusive partnership aimed at the clinical development of one or more combo therapies for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Under the partnership, the pair with investigate the efficacy of three Pfizer candidates in combination with Novartis’s non-bile acid, farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonist tropifexor. These include PF-05221304, an acetyl CoA-carboxylase (ACC) inhibitor currently in Phase 2, a diacylglycerol O-Acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) Inhibitor known as PF-06865571 currently in Phase 1, and PF-06835919, a ketohexokinase (KHK) inhibitor in Phase 2.

A progressive form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is often missed or misdiagnosed, NASH is nonetheless estimated to affect between 3% and 5% of adults worldwide and is anticipated to become the leading cause of liver transplants in the next decade. The new partnership hopes to tackle this issue through interventions focused at an early stage.

“This is an exciting collaboration with Novartis that furthers our approach to this complex disease by exploring different and potentially complementary mechanisms of action,” commented Dr Morris Birnbaum, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Pfizer Internal Medicine. “Our research in NASH dates back more than a decade and stems directly from how we have developed medicines to address conditions that put patients at risk for NASH, including Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We are confident that by drawing from our history and deep understanding of the close interplay between metabolic, inflammatory and cardiovascular conditions, we can potentially uncover treatments that truly meet patient needs.”

Matt Fellows

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