Allergan (AGN) and Novartis (NVS -0.3%) will collaborate on a Phase 2b clinical trial assessing the former's cenicriviroc and the latter's Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonist in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Financial terms are not disclosed.
FXR is a master regulator of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, bile-acid homeostasis, inflammation and fibrosis. FXR agonists reduce the expression of certain genes that control the synthesis of triglycerides in liver cells. They reduce liver steatosis (infiltration of liver cells with fat), lower the release of free fatty acids from fat tissue and reduce their uptake by the liver and improve tissues' responsiveness to insulin.
Previously: Allergan on a roll, buys another NASH therapy developer for $50M plus milestones (Sept. 20, 2016)