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Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Considers Putting Company For Sale

According to reports citing people familiar with the situation, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:MDGL) may be exploring a sale.

The company, which has only nine employees but a market value of roughly $4.3 billion, has been getting takeover interest from other drug makers that are eying treatments for a liver disease that is linked to obesity.

Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:MDGL), is currently working with investment bank Centerview Partners Holdings on the potential sale, according to the unidentified sources.

All talks are in the early stage so the company may even choose to continue operations on its own and not have a sale.

Earlier in the month the company saw its shares skyrocket as high as 145% after releasing positive results for its phase 2 clinical trial for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, otherwise known as NASH, a serious condition in which fat replaces healthy liver tissue in people who consume little or no alcohol.

The company’s therapy, MGL-3196, a first-in-class, oral, once-daily, liver-directed, thyroid hormone receptor (THR) β-selective agonist, had shown statistically significant results for several endpoints at week 36.

“The degree of NASH resolution, an approvable FDA endpoint, in patients who received MGL-3196 for 9 months we believe suggests a high likelihood of success in a larger trial with a somewhat longer treatment period in a Phase 3 study designed similarly to this Phase 2 study, pending regulatory agreement with such a design. Further, considering what we have learned regarding drug exposure and dosing, we believe there is potential to resolve NASH in as little as 9 months in 30-40% of patients receiving only MGL-3196, a well-tolerated once a day oral therapy,” remarked the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Friedman, M.D..

Becky Taub, M.D., the Chief Medical Officer and Executive VP, Research & Development of Madrigal commented, “We are excited by the results of this study that demonstrate that MGL-3196 has the potential to show a clear benefit in patients with NASH, including both reduction and resolution of NASH and improvement in multiple atherogenic lipids. Cardiovascular disease is the primary reason for death in patients with NASH.  We look forward to advancing MGL-3196 in a Phase 3 clinical trial in patients with NASH.”

EvercoreISI analyst Joshua Schimmer remarked, “In our eyes, the data are strong, with a clear [statistically significant] hit on NASH resolution and meaningful separation from placebo. Overall, the bar was set high heading into the data, but we think the results today are clearly good enough to see a step up in valuation.”

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