Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD and Denmark-based pharma giant Novo Nordisk A/S NVO announced that both the companies intend to collaborate for developing treatments for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

The companies will initiate 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 collaboration comes at a time when Gilead is trying desperately to develop a NASH pipeline.

NASH, a chronic liver disease, is caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver or steatosis. Per records, the disease has affected up to 15 million people in the United States, and could cause inflammation, hepatocellular injury, progressive fibrosis and cirrhosis. The ailment is anticipated to become the leading reason behind liver transplantation by 2020.

Currently, NASH

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