Gilead Sciences Inc. said Tuesday it is buying Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG's Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) program, which comprises small molecule FXR agonists for the treatment of liver diseases including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). As part of the deal, Gilead will pay the privately-held German company an upfront payment plus additional payments based on certain milestones that could be worth up to $470 million. NASH is a chronic liver disease that involves inflammation and excessive fat accumulation in the liver, which may lead to fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver failure. Gilead shares rose 1.6% in premarket trade, and are down 7.9% in the last three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.8%.
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