April 18 (Reuters) - Novartis said
* Novartis expands development programs for NASH through clinical collaboration with Allergan
* Phase IIb clinical trial launched to evaluate a combination of a Novartis FXR agonist and Allergan's cenicriviroc for NASH, a progressive form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
* NASH is the progressive form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, inflammation and fibrosis (scarring), and can eventually lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. NASH is a major cause of liver disease worldwide and the leading cause of liver transplants for people under 50 in the US. There are currently no approved treatments for NASH.
* Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by John Revill)