Pharmaceutical provider Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) has agreed to buy Nimbus Apollo Inc. from venture capital-backed Nimbus Therapeuticsfor up to $1.2 billion. Financial deal terms call for Gilead to pay $400 million upfront and up to another $800 million that will be based on the target’s future performance. Nimbus Therapeutics is backed by Atlas Venture, Lilly Ventures and Columbia University chemistry professor Richard Friesner and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates.

Nimbus Apollo is known for its preclinical acetyl-coa carboxylase (ACC) inhibitor program which is designed to potentially treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a form of a liver disease that is affecting about 15 million people in the U.S., according to Foster City, California-based Gilead. Nimbus Therapeutics is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company.

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