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August 03, 2015 7:28 AM ET


Company Overview of Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Company Overview

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotechnology company, focuses on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver diseases in the United States. Its products include Emricasan, an orally active pan-caspase protease inhibitor, which is in Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of liver cirrhosis, acute-on-chronic liver failure, post liver transplant clearance of hepatitis C virus infection with sustained viral response, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The company was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

16745 West Bernardo Drive

Suite 200

San Diego, CA 92121

United States

Founded in 2005

25 Employees



Key Executives for Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
Age: 63
Total Annual Compensation: $460.0K
Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research & Development
Age: 57
Total Annual Compensation: $325.6K
Executive Vice President of Clinical Development
Age: 60
Total Annual Compensation: $94.0K
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2014.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. Key Developments

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. Announces Pre-Treatment Biomarker and Histology Data from the First 16 Patients Enrolled in its Phase 2B Clinical Trial

On June 25, 2015, Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced pre-treatment biomarker and histology data from the first 16 patients enrolled in the company’s Phase 2b clinical trial of its lead drug candidate, emricasan, in post-orthotopic liver transplant recipients. These patients have reestablished liver fibrosis or cirrhosis post-transplant as a result of recurrent hepatitis C virus infection and have successfully achieved a sustained viral response following HCV antiviral therapy. Among the first 16 patients enrolled, more than 85% achieved SVRs using recently approved oral HCV antiviral treatments. The excitement generated by these new treatments altered enrollment patterns during the early stage of the POLT-HCV-SVR trial, and their rapid market penetration is now expanding the trial-eligible population. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was initiated in May 2014 in patients with Ishak Fibrosis Scores of 2 to 4 (mid- to advanced-stage fibrosis). Consistent with the company’s initial registration focus on the development of a treatment for cirrhosis, the trial was expanded in early 2015 to include patients with Ishak 5 (early-stage cirrhosis) and is currently expanding to Ishak 6 (advanced-stage cirrhosis). Patients are being randomized 2:1 to receive either 25 mg of emricasan or placebo orally twice daily for 24 months and will be followed for another month post-treatment. The primary endpoint in this exploratory proof-of-concept trial is the change in the Ishak Fibrosis Score compared with placebo. The trial will also evaluate histological markers of inflammation, key serum biomarkers, and the safety and tolerability of emricasan in the target patient population. Enrollment of approximately 60 total planned patients is on track for release of final top-line results in the first half of 2018. The initial baseline data analysis included the first 16 patients (approximately 27% of the total planned enrollment) to meet all trial inclusion and exclusion requirements and enroll in the trial. Among those first 16 patients, 3 patients (19%) had baseline Ishak Fibrosis Scores of 2, 12 patients (75%) had baseline Ishak Fibrosis Scores of 3 or 4, and 1 patient (6%) had a baseline Ishak Fibrosis Score of 5 and none had an Ishak Fibrosis Score of 6. The proportion of cirrhosis patients enrolling in this trial is expected to increase during the remainder of the trial. Baseline serum levels of caspase-cleaved cytokeratin 18 (cCK18) and caspase 3/7 were elevated in these subjects. Both cCK18 and caspase 3/7 are biomarkers of apoptosis activity and mechanism-specific indicators for emricasan. The biomarker elevations also were generally consistent with histology, with the high levels of both cCK18 and caspase 3/7 observed in patients with Ishak 4, intermediate levels observed in patients with Ishak 3, and the lowest levels observed in patients with Ishak 2. Patients with Ishak 5 or 6 were not included in this analysis due to their recent inclusion and resulting low number at the cutoff date. The company concluded from the pre-treatment analyses of biomarkers and histology that: the underlying mechanisms of action relevant to emricasan were active and, POLT subjects who have fibrosis or cirrhosis due to HCV and achieved SVR are an appropriate patient population in which to evaluate potential treatment effects of emricasan.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. Appoints Mason M. Yamashita as Vice President

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the appointment of Mason M. Yamashita, M.D., Ph.D., as Vice President, Pharmacovigilance, reporting to David T. Hagerty, M.D., Executive Vice President, Clinical Development. Dr. Yamashita has been Executive Director (initially) and Vice President (most recently) of Clinical Development/Drug Safety since 2011 at Isis Pharmaceuticals. He was previously Senior Director of Clinical Development from 2010 to 2011 at Ambit Biosciences, Medical Director of Drug Safety Clinical Research from 2008 to 2010 and Associate Director of Drug Safety Clinical Research from 2007 to 2008 at Biogen Idec, Associate Medical Director of Clinical Development from 2006 to 2007 and Manager/Senior Manager of Preclinical Development from 2003 to 2006 at Neurocrine Biosciences, and Associate Director of Preclinical Development from 2001 to 2003 at CancerVax. He previously worked as a scientist at Signal Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. Appoints Jean L. Chan as Vice President, Clinical Development

Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced the appointment of Jean L. Chan, M.D., as Vice President, Clinical Development, reporting to David T. Hagerty, M.D., Executive Vice President, Clinical Development. Dr. Chan has been Director, Global Clinical Research - CV/Metabolics, at Bristol-Myers Squibb since 2013, and was Medical Director, Medical Research & Development, at Amylin Pharmaceuticals from 2008 until its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2012. She previously served in a series of academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, beginning as a Clinical Fellow in Medicine in 1997 and ending as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in 2008.

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