NV556 inhibited tumor growth in mice with a liver disease known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, according to a study by its maker, NeuroVive Pharmaceutical AB.
The company will present the research, “Anti-fibrotic effect of NV556, a sanglifehrin-based cyclophilin inhibitor, in a preclinical model of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis 1,” at the International Liver Congress in Amsterdam, April 19-23.
Fifteen million people in the United States alone have non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a disease that has yet to have an approved treatment.
NeuroVive is a Swedish biopharmaceutical company developing therapies that target mitochondria, cell components that convert food into energy. So far its studies of NV556 have been at the pre-clinical trial level.
NV556 inhibited fibrosis, or scarring, in a previous study of mice with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, the company said. The research team used a mouse model of the disease known as STAM, which they created with a combination of diet and chemicals.
This time, researchers used a diet deficient in methionine and choline to create a mouse model. NV556 did an even better job of inhibiting tumors than in the first study, the researchers said. A key part of the evidence was a significant slowdown in the rate of liver weight increase.
Long-term treatment was safe and well tolerated, the researchers added.
An analysis of the surface of the mice’s livers indicated that NV556 not only reduced the size but also the number of tumors.
“We are encouraged by the confirmation of an anti-fibrotic effect of NV556 in a second well-validated experimental model,” Magnus Hansson, the chief medical officer of NeuroVive, said in a press release. “Also, the preventive effect on liver cancer development is a highly appealing observation that adds to the attractiveness of NV556 as a possible treatment candidate for patients with progressing NASH for which there is a high unmet medical need.”
The International Liver Congress is a leading annual scientific conference sponsored by the European Association for the Study of the Liver. More than 10,000 participants are expected at this year’s event. Scientific and medical experts from across the globe will be sharing their latest findings on liver disease at the gathering.