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NGM Biopharma Down; Ends Development of Liver-Disease Drug

NGM Biopharma slumped after it ended development of a drug to treat a vicious liver disease. The drug missed its goals in a study.
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Shares of NGM Biopharmaceuticals  (NGM)  slumped Monday after the company and said it was ending development of a drug to treat a vicious liver disease.

NGM’s drug was designed to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, a virulent type of fatty liver disease.

A study "did not meet its primary endpoint evaluating a dose response showing improvement in liver fibrosis by more than one stage with no worsening of NASH,” the company said.

At last check the stock of the South San Francisco company was off 36% at $18.13. It has traded on Monday off as much as 45% at $15.63.

“These results are certainly disappointing, particularly given the dire unmet need in this patient population,” Chief Executive David Woodhouse said in a statement.

“The lack of significant fibrosis improvement was unexpected given the consistency of histology findings previously seen with aldafermin in our adaptive four-cohort Phase 2 study.

“However, in line with the data from that study, Alpine 2/3 achieved statistical significance on multiple noninvasive measures of NASH at the two higher doses,” he said.

Still, “given the failure to meet the primary endpoint, we have decided to shift resources … toward advancing our other programs.”

In other pharma news Monday, Xeris Pharmaceuticals  (XERS)  said that it’s acquiring Strongbridge Biopharma  (SBBP) , a deal that values Strongbridge at $267 million.

Based on Xeris's closing price on Friday of $3.47 and Strongbridge’s fully diluted share capital, the deal values Strongbridge at $2.72 a share, a 13% premium to Friday’s closing price.

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