Conatus' Liver Focus Goes Well Beyond NASH
Biotech believes its pan-caspase inhibitor can treat portal hypertension and also address liver damage in patients with NASH or who've been cured of hepatitis C.
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After multiple Phase IIb trial failures, Conatus says it will fulfill contractual obligations and consider strategic alternatives. Partner Novartis was already focused on other candidates and partnerships in NASH.
The pan-caspase inhibitor emricasan, partnered with Novartis, misses fibrosis-reduction endpoint in Phase IIb study, following the failure last December of a trial in portal hypertension.
A licensing deal between the two cancer-focused biotechs falls apart amidst investor unrest at Immunomedics. Novartis opts to license Conatus' Phase II NASH candidate and picks up a CAR-T candidate from Celyad, while Shire adds to its dry eye franchise in deal with Parion.