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FOSTER CITY, Calif. & LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany & HEIDELBERG, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 6, 2015--
Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD) and Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG, a
privately-held biotechnology company, today announced the signing of a
definitive agreement under which Gilead will acquire Phenex’s Farnesoid
X Receptor (FXR) program comprising small molecule FXR agonists for the
treatment of liver diseases including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
(NASH). Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will pay Phenex an
upfront payment plus additional payments based upon achievement of
certain development milestones that may potentially be worth up to $470
NASH is a common, serious chronic liver disease characterized by
inflammation and excessive fat accumulation in the liver and may lead to
progressive fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver failure. NASH is estimated to
affect 10 to 20 percent of people in the developed world. There are
currently no approved therapies to treat NASH. FXR is a nuclear hormone
receptor that regulates bile acid, lipid and glucose homeostasis, which
can help reduce liver steatosis and inflammation, and may help prevent
“This agreement represents a significant milestone for our company and
for the field of liver disease research,” said Dr. Claus Kremoser, CEO
of Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG. “After 15 years of research, FXR is now
one of the few clinically validated targets for NASH and we are
delighted that Gilead will be continuing the research necessary to more
fully realize its potential for advanced liver disease.”
“The acquisition of Phenex’s FXR program represents an important
opportunity to accelerate Gilead’s efforts to develop new treatment
options that address fibrotic liver diseases,” said Norbert W.
Bischofberger, PhD, Gilead’s Executive Vice President, Research and
Development and Chief Scientific Officer. “We look forward to working
closely with Phenex’s research and development team to advance the FXR
program into clinical development as quickly as possible to explore its
potential in areas of significant unmet need.”
About Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG
Phenex is a small private German biotechnology company founded in 2002
and located in Ludwigshafen, Germany, with a research site in
Heidelberg. Phenex has a long history in nuclear receptor drug discovery
and has emerged as a highly specialized leader in the field of difficult
to target emerging nuclear receptor targets.
About Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops
and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical
need. The company’s mission is to advance the care of patients suffering
from life-threatening diseases. Gilead has operations in more than 30
countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
Gilead Forward-Looking Statement
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are
subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including risks that
Gilead will be unable to advance any of the small molecule FXR agonists
acquired from Phenex for the treatment of liver diseases including NASH.
These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results
to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking
statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking
statements. These and other risks are described in detail in Gilead's
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2014,
as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All
forward-looking statements are based on information currently available
to Gilead, and Gilead assumes no obligation to update any such
Source: Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Gilead Sciences, Inc.Patrick O’Brien, 650-522-1936 (Investors)Michele
Rest, 650-577-6935 (Media)orPhenex Pharmaceuticals AGDr.
Claus Kremoser orThomas Hoffmannfirstname.lastname@example.org