Gannex Announces the First Cohort Dosed in a U.S. Clinical Study with THR-β Agonist ASC41

Shanghai, China, 14 April 2021 -- Gannex, a wholly owned company of Ascletis Pharma Inc. (HKEX: 1672), fully dedicated to the R&D and commercialization of new drugs in the field of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), today announces the dosing of the first cohort in the U.S. Phase I clinical study of drug interaction and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patient pharmacokinetics for ASC41 oral tablets, a liver-targeted prodrug. The active metabolite of ASC41 is a selective thyroid hormone receptor beta (THR-β) agonist.

On 25 February 2021, Gannex announced the Investigational New Drug Application (IND) approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ASC41 oral tablets.

This clinical study consists of two cohorts: the first cohort is a drug-drug interaction study to evaluate the effect of itraconazole and phenytoin on the pharmacokinetics of ASC41 oral tablets in healthy volunteers, and the second cohort is a study to evaluate the pharmacokinetics, safety and tolerability of ASC41 oral tablets in patients with NAFLD.

Melissa Palmer, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Gannex, said, “We are excited about the dosing of the first cohort in the U.S. only one and half a months after IND approval by the FDA. This demonstrates the execution excellence of our clinical development team and the dedication of Gannex to the development of a drug for patients with NASH.”

Dr. Handan He, Chief Scientific Officer of Ascletis, said, “This study will offer important drug interaction information and pharmacokinetic data in patients with NAFLD which will accelerate our global clinical development for ASC41 oral tablets.”  

About Ascletis

Ascletis is an innovative R&D driven biotech and listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange (1672.HK). Ascletis is committed to developing and commercializing innovative drugs in the areas of NASH, cancer lipid metabolism and oral checkpoint inhibitors, viral hepatitis and HIV/AIDS for unmet medical needs in China and globally. Led by a management team with deep expertise and a proven track record, Ascletis has developed into a fully integrated platform covering the entire value chain from discovery and development to manufacturing and commercialization.

Ascletis has three marketed products and seventeen R&D pipeline drug candidates or combination therapies (eleven of them developed in-house). 1. NASH: Gannex, a wholly-owned company of Ascletis, is fully dedicated to the R&D and commercialization of new drugs in the field of NASH. Gannex has three clinical stage drug candidates against three different targets – FASN, THR-beta and FXR, and three pre-clinical stage combination therapies. 2. Cancer lipid metabolism and oral checkpoint inhibitors: focus on a pipeline of oral inhibitors targeting FASN which plays a key role in cancer lipid metabolism and a pipeline of oral PD-L1 small molecule inhibitors as the next generation checkpoint inhibitors. 3. Viral hepatitis: (i) Hepatitis B: focus on breakthrough therapies for HBV clinical cure with subcutaneously injected PD-L1 antibody - ASC22 and Pegasys® as cornerstone drugs. (ii) Hepatitis C: successfully launched all oral regimen of ASCLEVIR® and GANOVO® combination (RDV/DNV regimen); and ASC18 fixed dose combination (FDC) is an upgraded version of RDV/DNV regimen with bridging study finished. 4. HIV/AIDS: ASC09F is a FDC treatment of HIV targeting protease. The clinical trial application of ASC09F has been approved. For more information, please visit



Ascletis Pharma Inc.

Chenlin Li, +86-159-6815-8530