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Conatus Pharmaceuticals Announces Acceptance of Abstracts for AASLD Annual Meeting

- Caspase Inhibition Suppresses Production of Biologically Active Microparticles in Murine Model of Alcoholic Liver Disease -

- Emricasan Improves Survival and Portal Hypertension in Murine Model of Liver Failure -

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:CNAT) announced today that abstracts for two posters addressing preclinical results with the company's pan-caspase inhibitors, have been accepted for presentation at The Liver Meeting®, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco November 13-17, 2015.

Accepted abstracts were published today on the AASLD website at www.aasld.org/ for posters entitled, "Alcohol stimulates macrophage activation through caspase dependent, hepatocyte derived release of CD40L containing extracellular vesicles," (poster #1315), and "Emricasan, a pan caspase inhibitor, improves survival and portal hypertension in a murine model of long-term common bile-duct ligation," (poster #1522).

"There is a growing body of scientific data highlighting the role of biologically active microparticles in the progression of liver disease," said Al Spada, Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer of Conatus, "particularly in cirrhosis and its related complications such as portal hypertension. The data being presented at the upcoming AASLD meeting provide mechanistic support for the recently announced top-line results from our Portal Hypertension trial and encourage continued development of emricasan."

About Emricasan Clinical Development

To date, emricasan has been studied in over 600 subjects in fifteen clinical trials across a broad range of liver disease etiologies and stages of progression. In multiple clinical trials, emricasan has demonstrated statistically significant, rapid and sustained reductions in elevated levels of key biomarkers of inflammation and apoptosis that are implicated in the severity and progression of liver disease. Importantly, these key biomarkers are known to be elevated and to have prognostic value in multiple hepatic indications that Conatus is currently pursuing. The company recently reported top-line results from its completed Portal Hypertension trial demonstrating emricasan's short-term effect on hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG), a potential surrogate clinical endpoint, in patients with liver cirrhosis and severe portal hypertension (HVPG ≥12 mmHg). The company's ongoing Phase 2 Liver Cirrhosis (LC) trial is evaluating emricasan's potential medium-term effect on liver function using two other potential surrogate clinical endpoints – Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score and Child-Pugh-Turcotte (CPT) status. The company also is evaluating emricasan's potential longer-term effects on liver structure in its ongoing Phase 2b clinical trial in post-orthotopic liver transplant (POLT) recipients who have reestablished liver fibrosis or cirrhosis post-transplant as a result of recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and have successfully achieved a sustained viral response (SVR) following HCV antiviral therapy (POLT-HCV-SVR). The company currently is developing a strategy for initial registration of emricasan as a potential treatment for patients with liver cirrhosis.

About Conatus Pharmaceuticals

Conatus is a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel medicines to treat liver disease. Conatus is developing its lead compound, emricasan, for the treatment of patients with chronic liver disease. Emricasan is a first-in-class, orally active pan-caspase inhibitor designed to reduce the activity of enzymes that mediate inflammation and apoptosis. Conatus believes that by reducing the activity of these enzymes, emricasan has the potential to interrupt the disease progression across the spectrum of liver disease. For additional information, please visit www.conatuspharma.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward looking statements, including statements regarding: continued development of emricasan; the utility of HVPG as a surrogate endpoint for clinical trials of patients with liver cirrhosis; emricasan's potential medium-term effect on liver function; the utility of MELD and CPT as potential surrogate clinical endpoints; emricasan's potential longer-term effects on liver structure; the potential for emricasan to be a treatment for liver cirrhosis patients; and emricasan's potential to reduce caspase activity and interrupt disease progression across the spectrum of liver disease. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "could," "intend," "target," "project," "contemplates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential" or "continue" or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including: Conatus' ability to initiate and successfully complete current and future clinical trials; the risk that the preclinical results may not be predictive of future clinical results ; the uncertainty of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's and other regulatory agencies' approval processes and other regulatory requirements; and those risks described in Conatus' prior press releases and in the periodic reports it files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The events and circumstances reflected in Conatus' forward-looking statements may not be achieved or occur and actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, Conatus does not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.

CONTACT: MEDIA: David Schull Russo Partners, LLC (858) 717-2310 David.Schull@RussoPartnersLLC.com INVESTORS: Alan Engbring Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (858) 376-2637 aengbring@conatuspharma.com

Source:Conatus Pharmaceuticals