5 Years Later: Conatus Acquires Idun

Aug 02, 2010
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Conatus Pharmaceuticals on Friday announced that it purchased Idun Pharmaceuticals, a smaller subsidiary of Pfizer, for an undisclosed sum.

Idun is a biopharmaceutical firm that created a new technology for combating liver disease. Pfizer purchased the company in February 2005 with plans to use the technology to treat liver damages associated with viral and non-viral diseases, according to a release.

Interestingly, Steven Mento, the former head of Idun who helped facilitate the original sale, runs Conatus, a private specialty pharma firm that he formed with the rest of Idun’s senior management team.

“The addition of Idun to Conatus continues our important work in liver disease and expands our therapeutic reach into oncology,” stated Mento in a release. “Conatus plans to leverage its scientific and drug development expertise and resources to continue to advance potentially important therapeutic candidates in liver disease and oncology.”

Pfizer originally gained four drug candidates in the purchase, including potential treatments for liver disease and oncology. It remains unclear what work Pfizer did to the Idun drugs during the five years it had possession of the compounds.

“We appreciate the contributions of Pfizer’s colleagues on these potentially important drug candidates," stated Jennifer Giottonini Cayer, Conatus’ senior vice president of corporate development. “Conatus is excited to have the opportunity to work on these programs.”

Conatus currently has one drug in two Phase 2 trials for the treatment of liver disease associated with Hepatitis C.

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