Is VK2809 the Promising Cure for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)?

According to recent test data, VK2809 could be the missing link in the elimination of Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).

Viking Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders based in California, United States, announced that their VK2809 showed promising results following two months of in vivo study.

Originally developed by Metabasis Therapeutics, which was acquired by Ligand in 2009, the compound license was transferred to Viking Therapeutics, Inc. in 2014.

Based on the results of their clinical research, VK2809 displayed positive effects in terms of staving off the development and progression of NASH, particularly liver fibrosis, liver collagen content as well as improving the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease activity score (NAS).

In the course of eight weeks, VK2809 was seen to be able to reduce liver hydroxyproline content by 46% and bring down liver collagen content to 60%, liver fibrosis by 50%, liver cholesterol content by 65% and liver triglyceride content by 70%. The animals treated with VK2809 for the study also displayed a 40% mean improvement in NAS in the duration of the same.

NASH is basically the buildup of fat in the liver – which is why it is also referred to as “fatty liver” – and can potentially lead to inflammation if not given the right medical attention. Although most people can have fat buildup in their livers for years and years without experiencing any adverse effects, this causes cell damage in some, which prevents the liver from properly functioning.

You can think of NASH as very similar to a liver issue triggered by alcohol abuse. Interestingly, people suffering from this illness usually tend to not have any drinking problems at all. It’s theorized that the onset of NASH could be triggered by environmental factors.

Moreover, NASH can lead to liver scarring that can eventually set off the development of cirrhosis if neglected. Known reasons that could put you at risk of NASH include having metabolic syndrome, having high triglycerides and bad cholesterol, having insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes as well as obesity.

But with the promising results of VK2809, the elimination of NASH could very well be a reality in the near future.

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