failure of Intercept Pharmaceuticals’ (ICPT) Ocaliva (obeticolic acid) for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in June, the company was destined to be acquired.
GlobalData argues that without any other late-stage candidates in its pipeline and with its share price dropping precipitously, an acquisition was the best — and perhaps only — option for Intercept (NASDAQ:ICPT).
While Ocaliva is approved for primary biliary cholangitis, that market is tiny compared to the one for NASH. GlobalData projects 600K total cases of PBC in major markets in 2027.
The data and analysis firm said that the market size for NASH is projected to surpass $25B by 2029. “As a result, Intercept’s future was predicated on its potential in NASH,” said GlobalData Pharma Analyst Jay Patel.
He added that Intercept’s (ICPT) inability to become a leader in NASH prevented it from becoming a larger pharma company. The Ocaliva failure in NASH led to a plunge in the company’s stock price, making it fund other programs.
Patel noted that Intercept’s (ICPT) pipeline, such as INT-787, a Phase IIa asset for for severe alcohol-associated hepatitis, complements Alfasigma’s focus on metabolic and gastroenterological diseases.
The Italian pharma markets Xifaxan (rifaximin) for reducing the risk of overt hepatic encephalopathy and irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, as well as Carnitene (L-carnitine) for carnitine deficiency in patients with end stage renal disease.