Results

Galectin PhIIb NASH trial fails the primary goal, but researchers hammer on the positive

Before you get too deep into Galectin Therapeutics’ release on its Phase IIb data for its NASH drug, it’s important to keep in mind that the trial failed. Otherwise, you might miss it in all the upbeat assessments the company has to offer.

Researchers did not find statistically significant results in reducing a measure of hepatic venous pressure gradient for its therapy in patients with NASH cirrhosis, failing the primary endpoint.

Peter Traber

What they did find, and discussed at length, was that if you separate the patients without “esophageal varices” — the enlarged veins in the tube that connect the throat and stomach, which is linked to liver diseases — you can dig up positive data with a p value of 0.02. Such analyses, though, often draw dark frowns from trial investigators who like to stick with the original study designs in evaluating efficacy.

Researchers in the study also also talked up positive results for a secondary endpoint on liver cell death.

Galectin, led by Peter Traber, started the day with a modest market cap of $88 million. Their shares $GALT crashed the news, dropping 46% as investors zeroed in on the failure.

NASH remains a big focus among a long lineup of players, including Gilead.


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