Madrigal considering a sale: report

According to people familiar with the matter, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals is considering a sale after receiving takeover interest from companies seeking to develop treatments for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The people cautioned that discussions were in an early stage, while there was no assurance a deal would be reached. Shares in Madrigal jumped as much as 9.3 percent on the news. 

Madrigal CEO Paul Friedman recently remarked "we have managed the company with an open mind to strategics who would either want to partner or acquire us," continuing "there's a lot of interest in the field, obviously." 

Last December, the company unveiled 12-week results from a mid-stage study showing that the investigational NASH therapy MGL-3196 was associated with a significantly higher proportion of patients with substantial hepatic fat loss versus placebo. The company released further data from the study last month, which demonstrated that at week 36, 56 percent of patients treated with MGL-3196 achieved a two-point reduction in the NAFLD activity score on biopsy, which was significantly more than 32 percent for the placebo group. Further, 70 percent of MRI-PDFF responders, or patients who achieved at least a 30-percent decline in hepatic fat as measured at week 12, experienced a two-point or greater decline in the NAFLD activity score at week 36, sending the company's shares up on May 31 as much as 145 percent.

Madrigal has a market value of about $4.3 billion.

For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Proof is in the histological pudding for Madrigal’s MGL-3196.

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