Diabetes medication in found to be helping with curing fatty live disease for which there is no cure available.
In a trial led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Birmingham Liver Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust and Novo Nordisk and other sites at universities in Nottingham, Hull and Leeds, found out that a drug, currently used in the treatment of Type II diabetes, can be effective in clearing fatty liver disease from some patients.
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The first of its type, the trial looked into the action of liraglutide in the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. The trial demonstrated that 48 weeks of treatment with liraglutide resulted in 4 out of 10 patients clearing evidence of NASH from their livers.
The rate was much higher than the effect seen in patients receiving placebo (1 in 10) and met the pre-specified primary end-point. Another observation was weight loss up to 5 kg while undergoing treatment.
Liraglutide is manufactured and licenced by Novo Nordisk and is currently licenced for the treatment of Type II diabetes. It is administered in the form of an injection which the patient self-injects, which means the treatment could be administered at home.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a series of condition in which fat accumulates in the liver cells. It accounts for a majority of liver patients in US and UK and is mostly found in obese people. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a more severe condition often leading to liver transplant. There is no definite cure as of yet for these range of diseases.
Liraglutide is manufactured and licenced by Novo Nordisk and is currently licenced for the treatment of Type II diabetes. It can be self-injected and administered at home. The trial was the first of its kind and needs a wide range clinical trial to be registered as a proper medication for liver disease.
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Professor Philip Newsome, the lead investigator from the University of Birmingham, explained, that it is becoming more important than ever that treatment for the occurrence of fatty liver disease has to be found along with the cure for obesity. This study, published in The Lancet, provides confidence in the further exploration of this class of drugs in NASH.