Focus shifts from HCV to fatty liver disease

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Fatty liver disease took center stage at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Annual Meeting as the number of abstracts focusing on hepatitis C therapies plateaued, according to a report published in MedPage Today.

The shift of focus to fatty liver disease reflected what healthcare professionals are seeing in clinics, but there was still some focus on HCV therapy research, noted Gary Davis, MD, president of MedLogician Consulting and secretary of AASLD.

In previous years, clinical trials of direct-acting HCV medications have made up a significant portion of AASLD Annual Meeting abstracts. Many of these drugs have now been approved or are under FDA review, so new HCV data presented at the meeting was more mature.

It included research updates on the recently approved ledipasvir/sofosbuvir combination drug (Harvoni, Gilead), as well as oral combination treatment with ABT-450/r plus ombitasvir and dasabuvir, dubbed 3D (Abbvie), which is currently under FDA review.

As fatty liver disease becomes a more prevalent, researchers are looking at its basic mechanisms and different drug therapies.

Some other topics of interest from the meeting included:

  • The role of bariatric surgery in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
  • Prednisone and pentoxifylline in alcoholic hepatitis
  • Combinations of direct-acting HCV agents post-transplant.
  • A recombinant enzyme in liposomal acid lipase deficiency.


HCV research plateaus at AASLD Annual Meeting
HCV research plateaus at AASLD Annual Meeting

As the therapeutic picture for hepatitis C begins to settle down, the volume of abstracts on the topic is plateauing at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).

That's not to say that new HCV therapies won't get a lot of play, according to Gary Davis, MD, president of MedLogician Consulting of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and secretary of the liver association.

But, he told MedPage Today in advance of the meeting, "there's a big shift toward fatty liver disease ... that reflects what people are seeing in the clinics."

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