David Woodhouse, NGM CEO

NGM con­cedes key fail­ure for their lead NASH drug, clos­ing the door on a piv­otal fol­lowup — and ask­ing an­a­lysts to look past the wreck­age in­to the pipeline

A lit­tle more than a year ago NGM whipped up con­sid­er­able en­thu­si­asm for its an­ti-fi­brot­ic NASH drug aldafer­min based on a co­hort of pa­tients who showed a marked re­sponse to the treat­ment. But its great ex­pec­ta­tions — backed by some en­thu­si­as­tic an­a­lysts — failed to pan out at the pri­ma­ry end­point in the cru­cial Phase IIb that fol­lowed among peo­ple with stage 2 or 3 fi­bro­sis. And while an­oth­er tri­al in more se­vere­ly af­flict­ed pa­tients is con­tin­u­ing, NGM is tak­ing its $400 mil­lion in cash re­serves and shift­ing fo­cus to the rest of the pipeline, end­ing any hopes for a piv­otal in this group — and blast­ing the be­liefs they had in­spired ear­li­er.

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