NGM's lead candidate positive in PhII liver disease trial
This article was originally published in Scrip
Phase II data from NGM Biopharmaceuticals' NGM282 in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) show the product demonstrated significant, dose-dependent and clinically meaningful reductions in alkaline phosphatase (ALP), a primary indicator of disease activity, as well as reductions in 7α-Hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one (C4), a marker of bile acid synthesis. NGM282 did not exacerbate pruritus, a common symptom of PBC, NGM noted. The privately held company said the data suggest that NGM282, an engineered protein variant of the human hormone FGF19, is a potent regulator of bile acid synthesis. The product was not included in NGM's recent deal with Merck & Co, where the big pharma spent $96m up front and a further $106m to own a 15% share in NGM plus at least $250m in R&D funding during the next five years. The transaction gave Merck an initial license for NP201, NGM's preclinical candidate for diabetes, obesity and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NGM raised $50m in series C round in mid-2013 – bringing its venture capital total since 2008 to about $130m.