Allergan and Novartis Link on NASH

08.05.2017 -

Major drug makers Allergan and Novartis are collaborating to test a new combination therapy for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a progressive form of fatty liver disease said to be the fastest growing cause of liver cancer and liver transplant in the US.

The companies have signed a clinical trial agreement to conduct a Phase 2b study, using Allergan’s cenicriviroc CVC) and Novartis’ lead Farnesoid X (FXR) agonist. The study will look at the safety, efficacy and tolerability of the combined approach. Allergan said CVC represents an ideal candidate to become the backbone of NASH multi-therapy treatment because of its unique mechanism of action and favorable safety profile.

"Our clinical collaboration with Novartis brings together our collective scientific and development expertise in NASH to focus on multi-therapy treatment, which is expected to be the most likely approach based on the multi-factorial aspects of this disease," said David Nicholson, Allergan’s chief research and development officer.

Last September, Allergan gained rights to experimental NASH therapies through the acquisitions of US drug developers Tobira Therapeutics and Akarna Therapeutics.