ARTICLE | Company News

Conatus, Novartis deal

December 28, 2016 9:57 PM UTC

Novartis received an exclusive option to develop nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) candidate emricasan from Conatus. Conatus will receive $50 million up front and is eligible to receive up to $650 million in milestones, plus tiered royalties. Conatus may also borrow up to $15 million in convertible promissory notes from Novartis.

Novartis will have an exclusive option to develop the pan-caspase protease inhibitor in all indications, alone or in combination with other Novartis candidates, including farnesoid X receptor (FXR, NR1H4) agonists. Conatus will receive $7 million if Novartis exercises the option, which is tied to Conatus' planned 2H17 start of the Phase IIb ENCORE-LF trial to treat decompensated NASH. Novartis would also pay half of Phase IIb development costs, which include the ongoing ENCORE-PH, ENCORE-NF and POLT-HCV-SVR studies, and would be responsible for subsequent development, including Phase III and combination studies. Data from the Phase IIb trials are expected in 2018...