We are a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease. Our lead compound, emricasan, is a first-in-class, orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor designed to reduce the activity of human caspases, which are enzymes that mediate inflammation and apoptosis. We believe that by reducing the activity of these enzymes, emricasan has the potential to interrupt the progression of liver disease and potentially provide treatment options in multiple areas of liver disease.
We have observed compelling preclinical and clinical trial results that suggest emricasan may have clinical utility in slowing progression of liver disease regardless of the original cause of the disease. To date, emricasan has been studied in over 650 subjects in sixteen clinical trials across a broad range of liver disease etiologies and stages of progression. In multiple clinical trials, emricasan has demonstrated statistically significant, consistent, rapid and sustained reduction in elevated levels of key biomarkers of inflammation and apoptosis implicated in the severity and progression of liver disease. Importantly, these key biomarkers are known to be elevated and to have prognostic value in multiple hepatic indications that we are currently pursuing.
In December 2016, Conatus announced an exclusive option, collaboration and license agreement with Novartis for the global development and commercialization of emricasan. In May 2017, Conatus announced that Novartis had exercised its license option following initiation of the Phase 2b ENCORE-LF clinical trial.