Novartis buys NASH biotech IFM Tre in potential $1.575 bn deal

Novartis is to buy US biotech IFM Tre in a deal worth up to $1.575 billion, adding a potential drug for the fatty liver disease known as NASH to its pipeline. IFM Tre is a subsidiary of cancer biotech IFM Therapeutics, which was bought by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2017 in a deal worth $2.3 billion. At the time IFM’s non-oncology assets were spun out into two biotechs – IFM Tre and IFM Due, focusing on NLRP3 antagonists, and cGAS/STING antagonists respectively. The acquisition gives Novartis one clinical and two preclinical drugs targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome, which could provide therapies for several metabolic, fibrotic, autoimmune, and neurologic diseases. NLRP3 drugs are of interest to pharma and biotech firms researching drugs for a range of diseases.

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