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UK
12 Apr 2019 10:00 CET

Gilead Sciences and Novo Nordisk announce intent to initiate a clinical collaboration in NASH

Foster City, California, and Bagsværd, Denmark, 12 April 2019 - Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Novo Nordisk A/S today announced that the companies intend to collaborate on a clinical trial combining compounds from their respective pipelines in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The intended clinical trial will be a proof-of-concept study combining Novo Nordisk's semaglutide (GLP-1 analogue) and Gilead's cilofexor (FXR agonist) and firsocostat (ACC inhibitor) for the treatment of patients with NASH. The companies are also exploring the potential to collaborate on preclinical research to advance understanding of the disease.

NASH is a chronic and progressive liver disease characterised by fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver, which can lead to scarring, or fibrosis, that impairs liver function. If left untreated, individuals living with NASH may face serious consequences, including end-stage liver disease, liver cancer and the need for liver transplantation, and are at a significantly higher risk of liver-related mortality.

"NASH is a complex disease that often affects people with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Currently, patients living with NASH have limited treatment options. We are excited to work with Novo Nordisk on this important collaboration, which would bring together Novo Nordisk's broad expertise related to diabetes and metabolism and Gilead's expertise in both liver disease and combination therapies," said John McHutchison, AO, MD, chief scientific officer and head of Research and Development at Gilead Sciences. "We look forward to working with the Novo Nordisk team to explore opportunities to advance our complementary research capabilities and approaches in NASH to help address this significant unmet need for patients."

"We are very pleased about the potential to enter into this clinical collaboration with Gilead, which would combine Novo Nordisk's semaglutide programme in NASH with Gilead's clinical programmes to provide novel approaches for the treatment of the disease. By combining the leading molecular science and clinical expertise of our two companies within the rapidly expanding liver and metabolic diseases, we aim to develop innovative, new and effective combination therapies to help people with NASH," said Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, chief science officer and executive vice president of Novo Nordisk.

Cilofexor and firsocostat, alone or in combination, are investigational compounds and are not approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or any other regulatory authority. Safety and efficacy have not been established for these agents. Semaglutide has not been approved by the FDA or any other regulatory authority for the treatment of patients living with NASH.

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercialises innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California. For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company's website at www.gilead.com.

Further information

Media Novo Nordisk:    
Mette Kruse Danielsen +45 4442 3883 mkd@novonordisk.com
Ken Inchausti (US) +1 609 240 9429 kiau@novonordisk.com
     
Media Gilead:    
Arran Attridge +1 650-425-8975  
     
Investors Novo Nordisk:    
Peter Hugreffe Ankersen +45 3075 9085 phak@novonordisk.com
Valdemar Borum Svarrer +45 3079 0301 jvls@novonordisk.com
Ann Søndermølle Rendbæk +45 3075 2253 arnd@novonordisk.com
Kristoffer Due Berg (US) +1 609 235 2989 krdb@novonordisk.com
     
Investors Gilead:    
Sung Lee +1 650-524-7792