Gilead shares slip 0.2% after second NASH trial fails

Shares of Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD, -0.38% slipped 0.2% in premarket trade Thursday after the company said a late-stage study looking at selonsertib as a treatment for patients with liver scarring due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) did not meet its primary endpoint. A Phase 3 study of 802 subjects found that the drug failed to improve liver scarring, or fibrosis, in patients when compared with placebo. This comes after Gilead’s February announcement that selonsertib also failed to improve liver scarring in patients with a more advanced form of NASH. Selonsertib is an investigational small molecule inhibitor of ASK1, a protein that promotes inflammation, cell death and fibrosis during times of oxidative stress, such as in NASH. Gilead hasn’t quite given up on the drug — the company is still running a Phase 2 trial looking at selonsertib as a combination therapy with cilofexor and fircostat. Shares of Gilead have gained 0.4% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.22% has gained 16.8%.

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