2:19 PM
May 17, 2019
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

89bio: standing out in the NASH crowd

89bio thinks its FGF21 analog could be superior to other compounds that aim to treat the underlying metabolic causes of NASH

89bio thinks it can differentiate itself from companies targeting NASH as an inflammatory and fibrotic disease by attacking it as a metabolic disorder and addressing its root cause with an FGF analog that could be superior to others in development.

The company launched last year with a $60 million series A round and two discarded compounds from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to address the absence of marketed drugs to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

89bio’s lead candidate, BIO89-100 (TEV-47948), is an glycopegylated analog of the metabolic hormone FGF21. CEO Rohan Palekar said that because FGF21 regulates metabolic and energy expenditure, it could prevent the deposition and oxidation of fatty acids in the liver, and thus block the chain of progression from inflammation to fibrosis.

“If you can address the underlying pathology of fatty liver, and also address all these other metabolic syndrome issues, you might be able to change the way NASH progresses,” Palekar said.

While other biopharmas see combinations as the path forward to address the multifactorial processes driving NASH, 89bio...

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