Week In Review: CANbridge Raises $98 Million For In-licensed Orphan Disease And Targeted Cancer Candidates

Terns Pharma, a Shanghai-San Francisco biopharma, reported TERN-101, a potential treatment for NASH, was well tolerated and seemed to engage its FXR target in a US Phase I trial (see story). The trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and plasma biomarkers of FXR pathway activation. It enrolled 36 healthy participants who received placebo or TERN-101 at various dose levels for seven days. Terns said biomarker studies showed reductions in levels that imply efficacy in treating liver fibrosis.

Ascletis Pharma (HK: 1672), a Hangzhou antiviral company, has filed an IND with China's NMPA for ASC41, a self-developed Category 1 treatment for NASH (see story). Ascletis expects to combine ASC41 with ASC40, another novel Ascletis product, in trials. ASC41 is an oral thyroid hormone receptor beta (THR-beta) agonist, while ASC40 is an oral fatty acid synthase (FASN) inhibitor. In 2018, Ascletis' Ganovo®, an innovative t NS3/4A protease treatment for hepatitis C, was approved for China use, the first approved direct-acting anti-viral agent developed by a China company.

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