Gilead Sciences is snapping up a subsidiary of Nimbus Therapeutics for access to its experimental therapy for a metabolic disorder causing fat buildup in the liver.
The firm is prepared to shell out $1.2 billion under the deal; $400 million for Nimbus Apollo and a further $800 million to parent company Nimbus Therapeutics if certain developmental, regulatory and sales milestones are met.
The Nimbus Apollo programme includes lead candidate NDI-010976, an ACC inhibitor, and other preclinical ACC inhibitors for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and for the potential treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and other diseases.
NDI-010976 was granted Fast Track designation by the US Food and Drug Administration in February; Phase I data for the compound are to be presented next month during at The International Liver Congress 2016, the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL).
NASH is a serious liver disease resulting from metabolic dysfunction that causes toxic build-up of fat in the liver (steatosis) that can lead to inflammation, hepatocellular injury, progressive fibrosis and cirrhosis. The condition currently affects up to 15 million people in the US and, as Gilead notes, is expected to become the leading indication for liver transplantation by 2020.
“The acquisition of Nimbus’ ACC-inhibitor program represents a timely and important opportunity to accelerate Gilead’s ongoing efforts to address unmet needs in NASH,” said Norbert Bischofberger, Gilead’s chief scientific officer. “These molecules will complement and further strengthen Gilead’s pipeline and capabilities to advance a broad clinical program in NASH that includes compounds targeting multiple key pathways involved in the pathogenesis of the disease.”