CLDF Title
Home | Contact Us | Bookmark
  HBV   HCC   HCV   HE   NASH   PBC   OTHER
About CLDF Centers of Educational Expertise  
Live CME Meetings Webcasts Slide Library Abstract Library Conference Highlights
 
Back  
 
Reuters Health Information: Novartis, Pfizer join forces on potentially lucrative fatty liver disease

Novartis, Pfizer join forces on potentially lucrative fatty liver disease

Last Updated: 2018-10-29

By John Miller and Michael Erman

ZURICH/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Novartis AG and Pfizer Inc are teaming up to develop treatments for a liver disease many drug companies believe will become a hugely lucrative market, as it is tied to the obesity and diabetes epidemics.

The Swiss and U.S. drugmakers announced on Monday that they will collaborate to develop combination therapies involving medicines they have been working on separately to treat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH.

The progressive fatty liver disease with no approved treatments is one of the leading indications for liver transplant.

Drugmakers like Pfizer, Novartis, Gilead Sciences Inc and Allergan PLC see the potential $20 billion to $35 billion market, according to some estimates, as a source of future growth. Several small companies that have been focused on NASH treatments are well ahead of Pfizer and Novartis in their efforts, including Intercept Pharmaceuticals and France's Genfit.

While studies have shown increased exercise and altering dietary patterns can be a first-line of defense against the disease, Eric Hughes, who heads Novartis's hepatology development program, has seen first hand the need for pharmaceutical options.

"As a physician, I told everyone about exercise, lifestyle changes and diet," Hughes said. "And I was lucky if I got 5 percent that even listened to me.

"This is an epidemic of 38 million people in the U.S., and to treat all those people who are advanced in their disease requires therapy," Hughes added.

The companies will test Novartis's tropifexor in various combinations with three experimental Pfizer medicines, with the idea of attacking different aspects of NASH, said Morris Birnbaum, Pfizer Internal Medicine's chief scientific officer.

"The way this disease develops is, first you get fat in the liver, and then for reasons which nobody understands, the fat provokes an inflammatory response ... and then lastly, you get scarring and fibrosis," Birnbaum said. The combination therapy would target all three stages of the disease, he said.

Pfizer's drugs are aimed at steatosis, or fat accumulation in the liver. Novartis's molecule fights inflammation and fibrotic scarring.

The collaboration is not exclusive. Novartis's 2017 partnership with Allergan testing tropifexor with an Allergan drug will continue, Hughes said.

It is too early to predict when NASH patients might receive combination Pfizer-Novartis treatments, Hughes said.

But the deal shows there is still an appetite for tackling chronic conditions that affect millions of people at a time when many drugmakers, including Pfizer and Novartis, have increasingly directed resources to treatments for rare diseases that can command extremely high prices.

 
 
 
 
                               
 
HBV
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
HCC
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
 
HCV
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
 
HE
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
NASH
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
 
PBC
Webcasts
Slide Library
Abstract Library
 
 
OTHER
Webcasts
Slide Library
   
   
 
About CLDF
Mission Statement
Board of Trustees
Board of Advisors
CLDF Sponsors & Supporters
 
Other Resources
Liver News Library
Journal Abstracts
Hep C Link to Care
 
Centers of
Educational Expertise
Hepatology
Substance Use Disorder
             
CLDF Follow Us
   
  The Chronic Liver Disease Foundation is a non-profit organization with content developed specifically for healthcare professionals.
© Copyright 2012-2018 Chronic Liver Disease Foundation. All rights reserved. This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only.
Use of this Web site is governed by the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation terms of use and privacy statement.