Gilead Sciences: Nimbus Drug Acquired, Offering Cure For Fatty Liver

By Alexis Villarias, Parent Herald April 06, 04:50 am

Gilead Sciences is paying $400 million to acquire a medicine from Nimbus Therapeutics that could cure fatty liver. The acquisition of the Nimbus compound is expected to increase sales of the company.

Gilead Sciences has announced Monday that it acquired the privately held Nimbus Therapeutics in the hopes to continue the development of an early-stage drug for a liver disease. This is at par with Gilead's plan on expanding their reach to other severe liver diseases, according to The Street. Gilead is paying $400 million for the liver disease program from Nimbus, and will further pay an additional $800 million in milestone related payments.

Nimbus Therapeutics and Gilead Sciences

According to the Boston Globe, Nimbus Therapeutics is a 7-year-old holding company backed by software-maker Schrodinger Inc. and Altas Venture. The company works by selling some of their drug programs, finding potential partners for other companies, or offering itself to other companies.

Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences is popularly known for their hepatitis C treatments. While the drugs are costly, they are proven highly effective. Aside from acquiring the Nimbus compound, the company also plans to explore testing a drug that can be a potential treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma, another type of liver cancer that can result from hepatitis, according to Amy Flood, a Gilead spokeswoman.

Nimbus Apollo and NASH

Nimbus Apollo is the farthest subsidiary of Nimbus Therapeutics, which works on related compounds that block an enzyme known as Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase (ACC). The Nimbus compound called NDI-010976 blocks ACC, which is responsible for the production of fatty substances in the liver. As a result, this could stimulate the fats in the liver to break down.

The Nimbus compound, that is central in the acquisition, is in the initial stages of its development. It was created to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

NASH is a chronic, progressive disease that has already affected millions of Americans, according to the Boston Globe. It happens when ACC accumulates fat in the liver, causing inflammation and scarring. It can eventually lead to cirrhosis or liver failure.

Because of the increasing rates of obesity, NASH has become a common disease following obesity. Currently, there are no approved treatments for the disease.

"The acquisition of Nimbus' ACC-inhibitor program represents a timely and important opportunity to accelerate Gilead's ongoing efforts to address unmet needs in NASH," said Norbert Bischofberger, Gilead's chief scientific officer. To know more about fatty liver, check out the video below:

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