Could High Profile Combo Be Allergan/Novartis Answer To Late-Stage NASH Programs?
Novartis is teaming up with Allergan in a bid to get a treatment on the market for the fatty liver disease NASH, which currently has no approved treatments. The decision by Novartis to test its lead FXR agonist with Allergan's cenicriviroc (CVC) is interesting because Allergan's product reported mixed Phase II data.
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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.
Combination therapy is expected to prevail in NASH. Pfizer and Novartis, while trailing smaller companies, are studying their candidates together in hopes of hitting on a winning combo for the multi-factorial disease.
Allergan will spend 2018 trying to shift investor focus from the loss of Restasis patent exclusivity in the second half of the year to the company's R&D pipeline, including the late-stage "six stars" highlighted in 2017 and mid-stage programs that are moving into the spotlight.