Retarglutide eliminates fat in livers of obese patients

Author: AJ Hostetler

More than 85 percent of obese participants with fatty liver disease in a clinical trial of the experimental drug retarglutide had their liver fat reduced to the point where they were no longer classified as having fatty liver disease, said a Virginia Commonwealth University hepatologist who led the team. degree. -study.

Arun Sanyal, MD, director of the VCU Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health, shared the findings Nov. 13 at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting in Boston. The patients were participating in a larger Phase 2 clinical trial investigating the obesity treatment, sponsored by drugmaker Eli Lilly and published in the New England Journal of Medicine last June. Phase 3 clinical trials began in August.

Sanyal, who has served as a consultant to Eli Lilly and Company, said the findings suggest retarglutide could become a “bottom-up” therapy for high-risk patients, preventing liver disease from progressing and potentially reversing the disease.

“The significance of this trial is that we can eliminate fat in the early stages of this disease before it poses a real threat to the liver and potentially reduce long-term cardiac, metabolic, kidney and liver damage.” Related Links from Obesity harm. We are encouraged by these results and how they may help address diseases for which there are currently no approved treatments,” Sanyal said.

Sanyal’s research focused on the effects of two different doses of retarglutide on fatty liver disease (now called metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease, or MASLD). Patients have MASLD when fat makes up 5 percent or more of the liver’s weight and they have at least one of five cardiometabolic risk factors (such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes).

“But it’s worth noting that by week 48, 93 percent of patients on the higher dose had reduced liver fat to less than 5 percent. That’s quite dramatic. Because in the obese group, as many as 75 percent of patients There will be excess fat in the liver, but now we have a treatment that can eliminate liver fat in patients with early-stage liver disease,” Sanyal said.

Retalglutide activates GIP, GLP-1, and glucagon receptors, which are involved in controlling hunger and satiety, making people feel fuller after eating for a longer period of time. This helps regulate blood sugar levels, leading to weight loss.

Obesity is a serious public health problem that leads to other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, liver disease, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Sanyal said more than 33 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, and 5 to 7 percent of them have clinically significant liver disease.

Research on the relationship between type 2 diabetes and liver disease is relatively new, but each disease increases the risk of the other, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When blood sugar is too high for a long time, internal organs such as the liver can be damaged. Likewise, high fat content in the liver increases the risk of developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that the number of people suffering from type 2 diabetes and liver disease is increasing. Up to 70% of people with type 2 diabetes also have high levels of fat in their livers.

Ninety-eight obese adults aged 18 to 75 years were randomly assigned a dose of retarglutide. At week 48, patients taking 8 mg of retarglutide had a relative reduction of liver fat of 81.7%, and patients taking 12 mg of retarglutide had a relative reduction of 86%. At week 48, 89% and 93% of patients in the 8 mg and 12 mg groups, respectively, had reduced liver fat to less than 5%. The 48-week liver study showed that patients in the 8mg and 12mg groups lost an average of 23.8% and 25.9% of their body weight. Respectively 12mg retarglutide.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Eli Lilly and Company’s Zepbound for the treatment of obesity in adults. It is also sold as Mounjaro and is used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes, and studies show it can also improve liver health by reducing liver fat.

Established in late 2021, the VCU Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health builds on the successful legacy of VCU’s hepatology and liver transplant programs and is committed to becoming a global leader in liver-related research and metabolism-driven diseases. The project is driven by the largest publicly donated liver research donation in U.S. history, a $104 million gift from R. Todd Stravitz, MD, a hepatologist in the Department of Internal Medicine at VCU School of Medicine and medical director of liver transplantation at VCU Health. USD donation.

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