Original Agenda
We are actively working with our speakers to confirm their availability for the virtual event. Initial response from our speakers has been very positive, and we are optimistic we will have the new programs ready to share here soon.

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 4th Annual

Targeting NASH

Drug Development for the Fatty and Fibrotic Liver

September 16 - 17, 2020

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a disease of the liver that starts with a build-up of fat in the organ and if inflammation is also present, results in fibrosis and dysfunction of the liver which can sometimes lead to cirrhosis, a type of liver cancer. No medical treatments for NASH yet exist, but drug discovery efforts against the disease are growing. There are a few drug candidates progressing in clinical trials, but there have also been a few recent failures. CHI’s Targeting NASH conference convenes leading drug discovery and development researchers and industry experts to share the latest publicly available results and discuss important questions in the field, such as which target classes still have potential, what are promising drug combinations, and best practices for clinical trial design.

Tuesday, September 15

1:00 pm Pre-Conference Short Course Registration (Premium Package or separate registration required)
2:00 Short Courses 1-9 (see Short Courses page for details)
5:00 Close of Day

Wednesday, September 16

7:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee


8:00 Organizer's Welcome Remarks

Cambridge Healthtech Institute

8:05 Chairperson's Remarks

Rebecca A. Taub, MD, CMO and President of R&D, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals 


NASH Drug Development Landscape Including COVID in NASH Patients

Peter G. Traber, MD, Partner, Alacrita Consulting

FXR Agonists for Treating NASH

Jason A. Campagna, MD, PhD, CMO, NASH, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
9:40 Grand Opening Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



Thyroid Hormone Receptor beta Agonist in Phase3 Clinical Trials for the Treatment of NASH: Resmetirom

Rebecca A. Taub, MD, CMO and President of R&D, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals

A Novel Fatty Acid Bile Acid Conjugate, Aramchol, in Clinical Development for NASH

Liat Hayardeny, PhD, CSO, Galmed Pharmaceuticals
11:25 Presentation to be Announced
11:55 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)
12:25 pm Session Break
12:35 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own
1:05 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


1:50 Chairperson's Remarks

William Esler, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Metabolism, Pfizer Global R&D


Targeting Galectin-3 in NASH

Alison MacKinnon, PhD, Preclinical Research Consultant, Galecto Biotech AB

BIO89-100, a Long-Acting FGF21 Analog, for Treatment of NASH and Severe Hypertriglyceridemia

Hank Mansbach, MD, CMO, 89bio, Inc.
2:55 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)
3:25 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing and Poster Competition Winner Announced



Update on a Bispecific Mimetic Antibody of FGF21

Travis Bainbridge, Senior Scientific Researcher, Protein Chemistry, Genentech, Inc.

Optimized FXR Agonist with Best-in-Class Potential for NASH Treatment

Hubert C. Chen, MD, CMO, Metacrine

FXR agonists have been validated as a treatment for NASH, although improvements in therapeutic index for the class remain elusive. MET409, a sustained agonist with a novel non-bile acid structure, has demonstrated a promising profile – including significant reductions in liver fat content, improvements in liver enzymes, and differentiated pruritus and LDL-cholesterol profiles – after 12 weeks of treatment. These findings support the best-in-class potential of MET409 and structurally-related agonists.

5:05 Transition to Breakout Discussion Groups
5:15 Interactive Breakout Discussion Groups
Join a breakout discussion group. These are informal, moderated discussions with brainstorming and interactive problem solving, allowing participants from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and experiences and develop future collaborations around a focused topic. Visit the conference website for discussion topics and moderators.
6:15 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)
7:15 Close of Day

Thursday, September 17

7:30 am Registration and Morning Coffee


8:00 Chairperson's Remarks

Jamie Bates, PhD, Senior Research Scientist II, NASH, Gilead Sciences, Inc.


Aldafermin: Latest Clinical Results from a FGF-19 Agonist for the Treatment of NASH

Hsiao D. Lieu, Senior Vice President & CMO, NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

24-weeks aldafermin treatment showed significant reduction in absolute LFC compared to placebo (-7.7% vs. -2.7%; P=0.002) in NASH patients.  Aldafermin had greater efficacy compared to placebo in histological endpoints: fibrosis improvement (38% vs. 18%) and NASH resolution (24% vs. 9%).  On combined endpoint of both fibrosis improvement and NASH resolution, aldafermin was superior to placebo (22% vs. 0%; P=0.015).  Discontinuations due to AE were 0% (aldafermin) vs 4% (placebo).


A Novel NASH Combination: ACC and DGAT2 Inhibitors

William Esler, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Metabolism, Pfizer Global R&D
9:05 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)
9:35 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing



Polypharmacy and NASH: Etiologies of the Disease and Methods of Treatment

Jason Wang, MD, Director, Business Development, Fortress Biotech

Fortress Biotech is developing best in class agents targeting FXR agonism and thyroid beta agonist. These two nuclear hormone receptors have demonstrated in clinical studies potent resolution of fibrosis without treating the underlying disease, and resolution of the underlying disease respectively. We believe that the combination addresses the main etiologies of this disease.


Combinations with ACCi

Archana Vijayakumar, PhD, Research Scientist, Fibrosis, Gilead Sciences, Inc.
11:20 Enjoy Lunch on Your Own
11:20 Conference Registration for Part B Programs


12:20 pm Event Chairperson's Opening Remarks
An-Dinh Nguyen, Team Lead, Discovery on Target 2020, Cambridge Healthtech Institute
12:30 Plenary Keynote Introduction (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

Tackling Undruggable Oncoproteins: Lessons from the VHL Tumor Suppressor Protein

William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD, Professor and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

VHL tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) inactivation is common in kidney cancer and upregulates the HIF2 transcription factor. PT2977/MK-6482 is an allosteric HIF2 inhibitor now in Phase 3 testing. Thalidomide-like drugs (IMiDs) bind to cereblon which, like pVHL, is the substrate-binding unit of a ubiquitin ligase. IMiDs redirect cereblon to destroy the myeloma oncoproteins, IKZF1 and IKZF3. We have developed new assays for identifying drugs that can destabilize oncoproteins of interest.


De-Risking Early Drug Discovery

Panel Moderator:
Nadeem Sarwar, PhD, Founder & President, Eisai Center for Genetics Guided Dementia Discovery, Eisai, Inc.
  • Data Sciences
  • ​Novel Chemical Modalities
  • Investment and Partnering Models
  • COVID-19 Progress as Examples of Successful Partnerships
Anthony A. Philippakis, PhD, Chief Data Officer, Data Sciences & Data Engineering, Broad Institute; Venture Partner, GV
Andrew Plump, MD, PhD, President, Research & Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
2:00 Close of Plenary Keynote Program
2:00 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing
2:45 Close of Targeting NASH Conference

Please click here to continue to the agenda for Targeting Fibrosis

Choose 2 Short Courses and 2 Conferences/Training Seminars
Sept. 15 Short Course: SC1: Immunology Basics: Focusing on Autoimmunity and Cancer
Sept. 16-17 Conference: Targeting NASH
Sept. 17 Dinner Short Course: SC12: DNA-Encoded Libraries
Sept. 17-18 Conference: Targeting Fibrosis