The NASH curse strikes again. Pfizer dumps early-stage asset for liver condition

Another NASH drug bites the dust. This time it’s Pfizer’s early-stage asset danuglipron, which the drugmaker has dumped for the liver condition.

The GLP1 agonist, also known as PF-06882961, will no longer be pushed forward as a potential treatment for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, according to Pfizer’s pipeline website and second quarter earnings report. The 22-person phase 1 trial wrapped up in January, according to, but Pfizer has yet to post the results. Trials for the GLP1 agonist to treat obesity and diabetes appear to be ongoing, according to the earnings documents. 

It’s not the first NASH drug to be culled from Pfizer’s pipeline, either. The Big Pharma dropped the ketohexokinase inhibitor PF-06835919 after a mid-stage trial a year ago, and had previously halted PF-05221304 and a DGAT2 inhibitor for the liver condition.

But Pfizer still has other irons in the fire, including a combo of two experimental therapies—ervogastat and clesacostat—that was granted a fast-track tag from the FDA in May. And only last month Pfizer made an equity investment into Akero Therapeutics, which has two phase 2 trials on the go for potential NASH drugs.

The Big Pharma is hardly alone in its troubles with getting a drug for the liver condition to market. In November 2021, Bristol Myers Squibb reported a midstage failure for a NASH asset, which has now been shelved.

Fierce Biotech has contacted Pfizer for more details of danuglipron's discontinuation.