International NASH Day Arrives on the Heels of Disappointing Seladelpar Data

Samantha DiGrande

Today marks the second annual International NASH Day created to raise awareness about nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fatty liver disease.

According to the website, through locally organized events across the globe, advocates are able to raise awareness as well as promote early intervention for fatty liver disease and NASH, which “affects more than 115 million people worldwide.”

“International NASH Day is crucial for raising awareness of a disease that is under-recognized and under-diagnosed. NASH is often thought of as the ‘silent’ epidemic, but it is not silent, nor is it benign,” said Donna Cryer, JD, president and chief executive officer of Global Liver Institute (GLI), in an email to The American Journal of Managed Care®.

In order to promote the event, GLI has put out a social media package including the hashtag #NASHDay for advocates or those affected by the disease to tweet out. The campaign is joined by the participation of more than 150 experts on liver and metabolic disease from around the world who have collaborated on a plan to increase prevention and provide information about NASH, a disease that is quickly becoming the main reason for liver transplant surgery in the United States in 2020.

“This year, GLI is spearheading the global movement to raise awareness of NASH, partnering with dozens of organizations in more than 20 countries. From Bangladesh to Belgium, Mexico City to Moscow, we are lifting our voices to shed light on this disease that affects more than 115 million people worldwide,” said Cryer.

Timing of the awareness event comes just 1 day after CymaBay Therapeutics announced 12-week topline results from an ongoing 52-week phase 2B trial investigating seladelpar in patients with NASH. The trial, which randomized 181 patients with NASH to receive either placebo or seladelpar 10 mg, 20 mg, or 50 mg once daily, found that the treatment did not show significant reductions in liver fat compared with placebo.

“While the reductions in liver fat were minimal, we remain encouraged by the significant improvements in biochemical markers of liver injury that we observed at week 12….The observed improvement in markers of liver injury are consistent with the observed effects of seladelpar in PBC and further support the potential for seladelpar to improve liver health,” said Pol Boudes, MD, chief medical officer of CymaBay Therapeutics, in a statement
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