New ‘Liver Line’ Online Community to Share Updates on Health, Research, Treatments

Carolina Henriques avatar

by Carolina Henriques |

Share this article:

Share article via email
Liver Line

A new online community, called Liver Line and sponsored by Galectin Therapeutics, offers the latest information on liver health and research into liver diseases.

On Liver Line, patients and the community can learn about the mechanisms behind liver diseases and how these are connected to other diseases. The platform will also publish the latest research and news on treatments available for liver-related diseases, including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. The company envisions the community as a gathering place for patients, medical professionals and researchers.

“Liver health should be as important to everyone as heart health,” Peter Traber, MD, president, CEO and chief medical officer of Galectin, said in a press release. “Everything you eat passes through your liver on its way from the digestive tract to the rest of the body. However, while we know how to live a heart-healthy life, most people know nothing about how to ensure a healthy liver.”

Liver diseases like fatty liver disease (also known as NASH, or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) are called “hidden epidemics.” While few people actually talk about liver health and no approved therapies exist for NASH fibrosis or NASH cirrhosis, some estimates report up to 25 percent of the worldwide population being affected by fatty liver disease, with a lifetime risk of about 20 million people dying because of it.

Liver Line was created to put a spotlight on liver diseases in hopes of raising awareness and accelerating research, the company said.

“We have only one liver, and it’s so important that it has a tremendous reserve capacity,” Traber added. “You can knock out a high percentage of the liver and it still functions effectively to keep people alive. It’s a very resilient organ, and, for that reason, diseases can affect the liver for a long time before the liver function starts to fail. That’s one of the reasons why NASH patients can have inflammation in their liver and progressing fibrosis for decades with no or minimal symptoms and no adverse effects until the late stages of disease. Seemingly suddenly, they have cirrhosis.”

Liver disease describes any disturbance in the workings of the liver that causes illness. The liver is responsible for many critical functions, including filtering the blood and bile production. When injured, those functions may be compromised, causing significant damage to the body.

The liver can be damaged in a series of ways, including cells becoming infected (hepatitis), bile flow being obstructed (cholestasis), cholesterol or triglycerides accumulation (steatosis), compromised blood flow, chemicals and minerals infiltrating because of abnormal cells (cancer), or fat accumulation because cells lose function through alcohol abuse (alcoholic liver disease).

Galectin specializes in developing therapeutics targeting galectin proteins, key mediators of immune and inflammatory responses. Its lead candidate for liver fibrosis in NASH patients, GR-MD-02, is being evaluated in two Phase 2 clinical trials.