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Pliant Therapeutics Announces Advancement of Integrin Target in Fibrosis Under Strategic Collaboration

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Pliant Therapeutics, Inc.
Pliant Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Integrin target selected for development under 2019 collaboration following successful validation by Pliant

  • Pliant to receive $4 million milestone payment and reimbursement in support of initiation of research and development activities

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pliant Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLRX), a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of fibrosis, today announced the advancement of a fibrosis-directed integrin target into development as part of the Company’s 2019 research and development collaboration with Novartis. This initiation of work follows Pliant’s successful achievement of target validation under the agreement.

“This milestone highlights the productivity of the antifibrotic drug development platform on which Pliant was founded as well as our commitment to developing new therapies to treat patients with fibrotic diseases,” said Scott Turner, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research at Pliant Therapeutics.

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Pliant will receive a $4 million milestone payment and research funding to support the initiation of development work on the target. Any new product candidates directed to the target will be subject to milestones and royalties payable to Pliant.

About Pliant Therapeutics, Inc.

Pliant Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapies for the treatment of fibrosis. Pliant's lead product candidate, PLN-74809, is an oral small molecule dual selective inhibitor of αvß6 and αvß1 integrins that is in development in the lead indications for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, and primary sclerosing cholangitis, or PSC. PLN-74809 has received Fast Track Designation and Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in IPF and Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA and European Medicines Agency in PSC. Pliant is currently conducting Phase 2a trials of PLN-74809 in the lead indications of IPF and PSC. Pliant has also developed PLN-1474, a small molecule selective inhibitor of αvß1 for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH with liver fibrosis, which Pliant has transferred to Novartis pursuant to our development partnership. In addition to clinical stage programs, Pliant currently has two preclinical programs targeting oncology and muscular dystrophies. For additional information about Pliant Therapeutics, visit www.pliantrx.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "may," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions, or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements include those regarding our drug development platform, our planned development activities, the expected milestone payment and research funding under the collaboration agreement for the integrin target selected by Novartis, as well as other potential milestone and royalty payments under the agreement. Because such statements deal with future events and are based on our current expectations, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties and actual results, performance or achievements of Pliant Therapeutics could differ materially from those described in or implied by the statements in this press release. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those related to the development and commercialization of our product candidates, including risks pertaining to our collaboration with Novartis, any delays in our ongoing or planned preclinical or clinical trials, the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business, operations, clinical supply and plans, our reliance on third parties for critical aspects of our development operations, the risks inherent in the drug development process, the risks regarding the accuracy of our estimates of expenses and timing of development, our capital requirements and the need for additional financing, and our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our product candidates. These and additional risks are discussed in the sections titled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed for the year ended December 31, 2021 with the SEC on March 1, 2022, as updated by our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 with the SEC on May 9, 2022, each available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. Unless otherwise noted, Pliant is providing this information as of the date of this news release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investor and Media Contact:

Christopher Keenan
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Pliant Therapeutics, Inc.
ir@pliantrx.com