In a recent press release, biotechnology company HemoShear Therapeutics (“HemoShear”) shared that the company, in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. (“Takeda”) identified a novel therapeutic target for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The company partnered to develop a treatment for NASH; currently, there are no approved therapies, meaning that finding a new drug could be huge for this community.
According to the HemoShear website, the company’s mission is:
discovering novel biological targets and developing drugs that profoundly improve the lives of people born with rare metabolic defects who are unable to sustain basic biochemical processes necessary for life.
In addition to creating treatment options for patients with rare diseases, HemoShear is also seeking treatment approaches for NASH, liver diseases, and gout. To find therapeutic targets, HemoShear uses its proprietary drug discovery platform, REVEAL-Tx. This platform helps researchers better understand the pathophysiology of rare diseases. Through REVEAL-Tx, HemoShear creates more reliable disease models to figure out the underlying disease mechanisms and the targets to best treat them.
For NASH, REVEAL-Tx uses a disease model that models liver fat accumulate, inflammation, and cellular signaling. To learn more about HemoShear’s program, and how to measure gene expression in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), take a look at Nature Scientific Reports.
Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
Doctors are still unsure of the exact cause of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a disease in which fat accumulates in the liver of people who do not drink or drink very little. As the fat accumulates, it typically causes liver inflammation and damage. In some cases, it remains asymptomatic; in others, it causes fibrosis (scarring) that inhibits liver function. NASH affects up to 25% of Americans. Risk factors include having diabetes or high cholesterol, or being overweight. Symptoms include:
- Unintended weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Pruritus (intense itching)
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain and inflammation