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Boehringer, Pharmaxis discontinue development of drug for liver disease

Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH and Pharmaxis Ltd. discontinued the development of BI 1467335 for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH.

The decision to discontinue the development of the drug is based from the results of a phase 1 trial, which showed that patients with NASH were at risk of drug interactions, a situation when one drug among a combination of drugs alters the effect of another. Such interactions can result in decreased therapeutic benefits and adverse effects.

NASH is a form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in which the liver is inflamed and liver cells are damaged. Scarring of the liver causes it to malfunction, and serious complications include bleeding, organ failure and cancer.

Boehringer said the company will continue the ongoing phase 2 trial of BI 1467335 to treat diabetic retinopathy and expects to report results in the second half of 2020. Diabetic retinopathy is a medical condition in which damage occurs to the blood vessels in the retina due to diabetes.

Boehringer acquired BI 1467335 from South Wales, Australia-based Pharmaxis in 2015.