Positive Results in Mouse Model for Experimental Drug Treating Liver Scarring Associated With Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

According to a story from globenewswire.com, the biopharmaceutical company ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has recently announced that its experimental drug CRV431 was able to successfully decrease scarring of the liver in a second animal model of liver fibrosis. Liver fibrosis, or scarring, is a common symptom of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a disease that affects the liver. ContraVir is focused on the development of therapies for liver disease that occurs as a result of either long term viral infection or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

About Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a type of liver disease in which fat is deposited in the liver independent of excessive alcohol consumption. This disease can progress rapidly. Risk factors include metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. There also appears to be some genetic component to the disease as well. This condition also increases the risk of other health problems and liver cancer. Men also seem to be at greater risk, getting the disease as almost twice the rate that women do. Symptoms of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis include jaundice, malaise, fatigue, and abdominal pain or discomfort. Without treatment, the liver can become scarred and the patient may need a liver transplant. However, the condition can also be managed with proper diet, the use of certain medications, and exercise. To learn more about nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, click here.

About The Study

In the animal model evaluation, CRV431, which is an inhibitor of cyclophilin, was compared alongside another drug called obeticholic acid, which is currently used to treat another liver disease called primary biliary cholangitis. The mice that were used in the study either received a control, a 50 mg/kg dose of CRV431, or a 10 mg/kg dose of obeticholic acid. The results from this study were clear. Scarring was measured by evaluating hepatic collagen (which appears with scarring) and found that CRV431 was able to reduce hepatic collagen by 43 percent. Obeticholic acid meanwhile had no effect on liver fibrosis.

The results of this trial are encouraging for ContraVir and follow prior studies that also suggest that the drug has good antiviral and anticancer properties. These results will help encourage the continued development of CRV431, which has been tested for safety in a phase 1 trial with humans and achieved good results.


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