Salem Radio Network News Friday, June 9, 2023


89Bio’s NASH drug succeeds in mid-stage study; shares soar

(Reuters) -Drug developer 89Bio Inc said on Wednesday its experimental treatment for liver disease NASH met the main goals of a small mid-stage study, sending its shares surging nearly 50% in premarket trading.

The drug, pegozafermin, helped reduce liver scarring as measured on two different scales in patients with NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, data showed.

NASH is the fastest-growing cause of liver transplants in developed countries and has no approved treatments. Approved treatments are expected to be a multi-billion dollar market in the United States, with Novo Nordisk as well as other smaller companies racing to develop the drugs.

“We believe physicians and patients will value pegoza’s safety and less frequent dosing, especially in a chronic disease like NASH,” SVB Securities analyst Thomas Smith said in a note.

In the trial, the drug helped significantly reduce fibrosis or liver scarring without the worsening of NASH, compared to a placebo. It also helped decrease fibrosis by one stage, without NASH worsening.

Madrigal Pharmaceuticals in December gained a head-start in the development of a treatment as its experimental drug met the main goals in an eagerly anticipated late-stage study.

89Bio said the data supports advancement to late-stage development.

NASH is a form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, characterized by the organ developing fibrosis or scarring, which can progress to cirrhosis and organ failure.

(Reporting by Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)


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