Sanchez Leads NASH Drug Trial at Iowa

NASH, or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is a type of fatty liver disease typified by inflammation and liver cell damage and has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. It remains a leading cause of liver transplantation in the United States and is highly prevalent in patients with obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. But promising signs are on the horizon.

Dr. Antonio Sanchez, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has obtained funding to join a nationwide clinical trial. This two-year, $100,000 study will test the effectiveness of Volixibat (SH626), a novel therapeutic developed by a private company. Volixibat inhibits a bile acid transporter, a particular protein that recycles bile acids from the intestine. Preliminary data shows that the drug increases bile acid excretion and aids regulation of these acid concentrations as well as those of glucose and fatty acid metabolism in the liver. The anti-fibrotic effects could benefit patients living with NASH.

Dr. Sanchez reports that the study, which began just last month, has already screened multiple patients for this trial and enrolled one. Congratulations, Dr. Sanchez!

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