Elobixibat is an IBAT inhibitor approved in Japan for the treatment of chronic constipation, the first IBAT inhibitor to be approved anywhere in the world. EA Pharma Co., Ltd., a company formed via a 2016 combination of Eisai’s GI business with Ajinomoto Pharmaceuticals and focused on the gastrointestinal disease space, is the exclusive licensee of elobixibat for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in Japan and other select countries in Asia (not including China) and is expected to co-market elobixibat in Japan with Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and to co-promote elobixibat in Japan with Eisai, under the trade name GOOFICE®.
We also believe that elobixibat has potential benefit in the treatment of NASH based on findings on relevant parameters in clinical trials of elobixibat that we previously conducted in patients with chronic constipation and in patients with elevated cholesterol and findings on other parameters relevant to NASH from nonclinical studies that we previously conducted with elobixibat or a different IBAT inhibitor. In particular, in a clinical trial in dyslipidemia patients, elobixibat given for four weeks reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, with the occurrence of diarrhea being substantially the same as the placebo group. Also, in other clinical trials in constipated patients, elobixibat given at various doses and for various durations reduced LDL-cholesterol and, in one trial, increased levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Moreover, A4250 (an IBAT inhibitor) showed significant improvement (p < 0.05) on the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease activity score in an established model of NASH in mice known as the STAM™ model and improvement in liver inflammation and fibrosis in another preclinical mouse model. We are considering conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial of elobixibat in NASH.
We own commercial rights to elobixibat in in the United States, Europe, China and otherwise outside of the territories licensed to EA Pharma.