Tobira Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing and commercialising therapies to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other liver diseases. The company's lead product candidate, cenicriviroc (CVC), is a first-in-class immunomodulator and dual inhibitor of CCR2 and CCR5 in late-stage development for the treatment of NASH, a serious liver disease that can progress to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. CVC is also being investigated to address primary sclerosing cholangitis, a disease which causes inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts, eventually leading to serious liver damage. Tobira's pipeline also includes evogliptin, a selective DPP-4 inhibitor, which it is developing for NASH in combination with CVC.
In 2015 prior to Abingworth’s investment, Andrew Sinclair and Kurt von Emster completed extensive due diligence on Tobira’s clinical assets including expert physician calls, commercial and financial modelling, a sequence of management discussions and contact with key board members.
Developments since investment
In July 2015 Tobira reported results from its PIIb study, CENTUAR. The study missed its primary endpoint but did show a statistically significant improvement in fibrosis without worsening of NASH which is the endpoint they will need to hit for FDA registration. While the stock declined on this data, we believed the data supported our thesis that the drug was very active in reversing fibrosis, a key clinical driver in the condition and supported a significant role in the treatment of the condition. In November 2016, Tobira was acquired for up to $1.7bn by Allergan.