NGM Bio takes leap for­ward in crowd­ed NASH field

South San Fran­cis­co-based NGM Bio may have un­der­whelmed with its in­ter­im analy­sis of a key co­hort from a mid-stage NASH study last fall — but stel­lar topline da­ta un­veiled on Mon­day showed the com­pound in­duced sig­nif­i­cant signs of an­tifi­brot­ic ac­tiv­i­ty, NASH res­o­lu­tion and liv­er fat re­duc­tion, send­ing the com­pa­ny’s stock soar­ing.

There are an es­ti­mat­ed 50+ com­pa­nies fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing drugs for non-al­co­holic steato­hep­ati­tis, or NASH, a com­mon liv­er dis­ease that has long flum­moxed re­searchers. The first wave of NASH drug de­vel­op­ers strug­gled with ef­fi­ca­cy as well as safe­ty — and com­pa­nies big and small have crashed and burned.

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