EMD Serono's Egrifta effective against drug-induced fatty liver disease in trial
- In 2010, Egrifta (tesamorelin) became the first FDA-approved drug for reducing the abdominal fat deposits that occur in many HIV patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (ARV).
- ARV-treated patients also have a high incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
- A new study published in JAMA showed an overall decrease of 9.9% in visceral adipose tissue among Egrifta-treated patients, compared with a 6.6% increase among the control group.
It is well known that ARV therapy often leads to lipodystrophy and even insulin resistance in patients -- but ARV treatment is also associated with NAFLD. NAFLD may be benign, but it may also lead to liver inflammation, cellular damage, fibrosis, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and even liver cancer.
Egrifta stimulates the release of growth hormone, which is present in reduced levels in ARV patients with lipodystrophy. In the new study, 48 ARV-treated adults were also treated with Egrifta and followed for six months. Results strongly favored the use of Egrifta as a way to reduce liver fat content. Strikingly, the reduction in liver fat had no adverse effect on glucose metabolism.
“The decrease in liver fat in this study suggests that strategies to reduce visceral adiposity merit further investigation in HIV-infected patients with NAFLD, a condition for which there are no approved treatments,” wrote the study authors.