Tobira, Dong-A Stick To NASH Plans Despite CENTAUR Results
The failure of Tobira's cenicriviroc to meet its primary endpoint in the CENTAUR study has raised some concerns in South Korea over the prospects for a combo therapy with Dong-A ST's evogliptin. But the two firms are sticking to their clinical development plans based on the positive secondary endpoint outcome in the study.
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With Allergan handing back the global development and sales rights of evogliptin as a NASH therapy to Dong-A, the South Korean firm is now considering an alternative business model around the DPP-4 inhibitor.
Allergan will pay a huge premium – up to $1.7bn in a milestone-heavy deal – for Tobira and $50m up front for the preclinical startup Akarna to expand its gastrointestinal franchise into the potentially lucrative NASH market.
The biotech argues that success in reducing fibrosis is more important than the failed primary endpoint measuring NAFLD activity score improvement – and also meets FDA's expectations – but the firm is taking a beating nonetheless.