Conatus Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CNAT) shares are up 141% following the early-morning announcement of an exclusive option, collaboration and license agreement with Novartis (NYSE: NVS) for the global development and commercialization of its first-in-class, orally active pan-caspase inhibitor emricasan. Per the agreement, Conatus will receive $50 million upfront, and is eligible to receive $7 million following the exercise of the license option. Conatus can borrow up to $15 million in the form of convertible promissory notes under an investment agreement with Novartis. Conatus will host a conference call and webcast presentation at 5:30 p.m. ET today. “The option to co-commercialize in the United States preserves future flexibility for Conatus, and the ability to continue pursuing independent development of other compounds affords us the opportunity to build a portfolio of potential products to drive further long-term value for our shareholders,” Conatus president and CEO Steven J. Mento, Ph.D. stated in the news release.
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About Conatus Pharmaceuticals
Conatus is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease. Conatus is developing its lead compound, emricasan, for the treatment of patients with chronic liver disease. Emricasan is designed to reduce the activity of enzymes that mediate inflammation and apoptosis. Conatus believes that by reducing the activity of these enzymes, emricasan has the potential to interrupt the disease progression across the spectrum of liver disease. For additional information, please visit www.conatuspharma.com
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