Bristol-Myers (BMY), TARGET Extend Partnership for NASH Study

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Bristol-Myers Squibb CompanyBMY extended its strategic partnership with TARGET PharmaSolutions, Inc. The partnership has been extended for TARGET-NASH for a multi-year deal.

We note that both companies announced two new collaborations in Nov 2016 for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The TARGET model is designed to provide pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners access to a robust disease state registry that is also linked to a biorepository and patient reported outcomes and provides unique data and insights compared to typical patient registries.

TARGET-NASH, a longitudinal observational study is evaluating patients suffering from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Having enroled 2,364 patients at 55 sites, the study is collecting retrospective and prospective data from enroled patients and is developing a biorepository which its stakeholders can access for translational studies (including those of genomics and biomarkers).

Bristol-Myers' stock has rallied 25.3% in the last six months compared with the industry 's rally of 14.3% gain.

Bristol-Myers already has a mid-stage candidate in the NASH space. BMS-986036, an investigational pegylated analogue of human fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), a key regulator of metabolism, in patients with biopsy-confirmed NASH (F1-F3) achieved its primary endpoint of significant reduction in liver fat versus placebo in April. The company was entitled the rights to research, develop and commercialize BMS-986036 from Ambrx, Inc.

A chronic liver disease, NASH is caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver which in turn is known as steatosis. NASH is known to affect up to 15 million people in the United Stated and can lead to inflammation, hepatocellular injury, progressive fibrosis and cirrhosis. It is expected to be the leading cause for liver transplantation by 2020. Notably, it is currently the leading cause of liver transplants for people under 50 in the United States.

Other major companies with promising candidates for NASH include Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ICPT , Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD and Novartis AG NVS .

Zacks Rank

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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