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Gannex receives US IND Approval for NASH drug candidate, an FXR agonist

In two NASH animal models, ASC42 demonstrated significant improvements in liver steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis

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Gannex Pharma, a wholly-owned company of Ascletis Pharma announced that it has received investigational new drug application (IND) approval from FDA for its drug candidate ASC42, to conduct clinical trials for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) indication.

ASC42 is an in-house developed, novel non-steroidal, selective, potent Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) agonist. In two NASH animal models, ASC42 demonstrated significant improvements in liver steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis. ASC42 is an oral tablet formulation developed with proprietary therapy and is stable at room temperature.

Gannex has two additional drug candidates at the clinical stage in its NASH pipeline, ASC40 and ASC41. ASC40(TVB-2640), an oral fatty acid synthase (FASN) inhibitor, has been shown to significantly reduce liver fat with a 61 per cent responder rate in the 50 mg group in Phase II clinical trial (FASCINATE-1). ASC41 is a liver-targeted prodrug and its active moiety (ASC41-A) is selective for THR-β. ASC42 is expected to be used alone or in combination with ASC40 or ASC41.

“We are delighted that the FDA has cleared ASC42 IND for NASH, an increasingly prevalent disease for which there are currently no approved therapies,” said Dr Handan He, Chief Scientific Officer of Ascletis.

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