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2 November 2018
      Novartis has signed an agreement with Pfizer to carry out clinical trials on one or more combination therapies for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

      Under the agreement, the two companies will carry out non-clinical and early-stage clinical development for Pfizer’s investigational therapies and Novartis’ tropifexor, an oral Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonist.

      Pfizer’s investigational therapies include an acetyl CoA-carboxylase (ACC) inhibitor, a diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) inhibitor and a ketohexokinase (KHK) inhibitor.

      The wide spectrum of therapies will target different pathways in NASH that currently do not have any approved treatment.

      Novartis is a pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland, while Pfizer is based in the US.

      Eli Lilly has signed a licensing and research agreement with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialisation of treatments for cardio-metabolic disorders, neurodegeneration and pain.

      The two companies will focus on improving Dicerna’s GalXC RNAi technology platform to identify new drug targets and developing new oligonucleotide therapeutics.

      Dicerna will receive an upfront payment of $100m and is eligible to receive developmental and commercialisation milestone payments of $350m.

      Eli Lilly will also purchase a $100m equity stake in Dicerna.

      Based in the US, Eli Lilly is a pharmaceutical company, while Dicerna is a biotechnology company.

      AstraZeneca has signed a licensing deal with Grünenthal Group for the rights to prescription medicines, Nexium and Vimovo.

      The $92m deal will see Grünenthal receive the rights to Nexium in 33 European countries and the commercialisation rights to Vimovo worldwide, excluding the US and Japan.

      AstraZeneca will receive an upfront payment of $700m from Grünenthal for Nexium and is eligible for up to $90m in milestone payments and sales-related payments.

      Grünenthal will receive $115m as an upfront payment for Vimovo and up to $17m as milestone and other sales-related payments.

      Based in the UK, AstraZeneca is a pharmaceutical company, while Grünenthal is based in Germany.