Newcastle awarded £30m funding to study liver health
Professor Quentin Anstee, BRC co-Lead of the Liver Disease, Multimorbidity and Lifestyle theme leads the collaboration to study liver cirrhosis
The ADVANCE (Accelerating Discovery: Actionable NASH Cirrhosis Endpoints) study will be the most detailed observational study of its kind enrolling the largest number of patients and providing a detailed analysis of liver health. This will not only enhance the understanding of NASH cirrhosis, but also help to identify translational biomarkers that will accelerate the development of future therapies.
Approximately 444 million people worldwide are estimated to live with a condition referred to as nonalcoholic or metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (NASH/MASH), an inflammatory liver disease that is caused by accumulation of fat in the liver. Over time, NASH causes the formation of scar tissue leading in many cases to liver cirrhosis. This can result in serious complications, including liver failure or liver cancer and may result in the patient needing a liver transplant. Currently there are no approved medicines for cirrhosis and so there is an urgent need for earlier diagnosis and new medicines to prevent MASH cirrhosis progression to liver failure, or to reverse the scarring of the liver once cirrhosis is established.
This £30M study is funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and reflects the company’s commitment to improve the lives of people living with cardiovascular, renal and metabolic diseases (CRM). The study will be led by researchers at Newcastle University and the University of Edinburgh, along with collaborators across Europe.
Professor Quentin Anstee, BRC Theme co-Lead, Professor of Experimental Hepatology at Newcastle University and Consultant Hepatologist at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who is coordinating the global study explained:
“Building on Newcastle’s internationally recognised expertise in translational liver research, this study will reveal the fundamental disease processes driving cirrhosis”.
“We aim to work out why, even at the most advanced stages of liver disease, there is substantial variation in how the disease progresses with some people remaining well for many years whilst others rapidly experience liver failure or develop liver cancer. Working internationally with our collaborators, we will then use this knowledge to improve how patients are diagnosed, and to help develop new medicines.”
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