How Allergan quickly assembled a NASH tool kit with Tobira, Akarna deals
Allergan plc's two NASH acquisitions give it the second biggest pipeline for the indication and enough mechanisms to develop in-house combinations that could target multiple drivers of the disease pathophysiology.
Together, Allergan's Sept. 20 deals to acquire Tobira Therapeutics Inc. and Akarna Therapeutics Ltd. give the pharma three mechanisms in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Gilead Sciences Inc. has four, with the only overlap across the two companies being a farnesoid X receptor (FXR; NR1H4) agonist.
Allergan's FXR agonist comes from Akarna, which Allergan acquired for $50 million up front plus undisclosed milestones. The biotech's AKN-083 is in preclinical testing for NASH.
Tobira brings cenicriviroc, a dual CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5; CD195) and CCR2 (CD192) antagonist that is in Phase IIb testing, and evogliptin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4; CD26) inhibitor that is in Phase I testing as a monotherapy and in combination with cenicriviroc.
For Tobira, Allergan will pay $28.35 per share in