Robert Foster, departing Hepion Pharmaceuticals CEO

NASH drug­mak­er He­p­i­on to seek strate­gic al­ter­na­tives

He­p­i­on Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals said Thurs­day it will seek strate­gic al­ter­na­tives to keep its Phase IIb NASH drug de­vel­op­ment pro­gram alive along­side news that its CEO has re­signed “for per­son­al rea­sons.”

The New Jer­sey biotech said it would not en­roll new pa­tients in­to its AS­CEND-NASH clin­i­cal study un­til it’s “ful­ly fund­ed or a strate­gic trans­ac­tion has been en­tered in­to.”

He­p­i­on could seek an ar­ray of al­ter­na­tive routes: an M&A deal, re­verse merg­er, li­cens­ing pact, as­sets sale or oth­er av­enue, it said. The com­pa­ny said it doesn’t plan to pro­vide up­dates dur­ing the process.

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