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Pfizer (PFE) and Novartis (NVS) are pairing up on new clinical trials of combination therapies to treat the fatty liver disease known as NASH.

The collaboration between the pharma giants announced Monday won’t yield significant clinical results for quite some time, but scientists working at both companies say attacking NASH with two or more drugs that act in the liver differently will ultimately bring the most benefit to patients.


“NASH is a complicated disease that will ultimately require a combination therapy approach,” said Dr. Morris Birnbaum, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer for internal medicine. “We’ve been developing drug candidates in house for four years but we’re also eager to test them with complementary assets.”

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