Lipomics Technologies to Launch Diagnostic Development Program in Liver Disease
News Mar 18, 2008
Lipomics Technologies, Inc., a privately held company that specializes in developing diagnostics for managing metabolic and cardiovascular disease, announced that it is launching an effort to validate its proprietary biomarkers for fatty liver disease.
Lipomics' proprietary lipid biomarkers proved effective in identifying patients with varying degrees of metabolic liver disorders in recent clinical trials. This new initiative will focus on accessing large clinical cohorts for validating its diagnostic products through the company's collaborative network. Lipomics will use its analytical and bioinformatic technology to validate the clinical utility of its biomarkers associated with various aspects of fatty liver disease.
According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), approximately 10-20% of Americans are affected with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a disease characterized by excess fat accumulation in the liver in patients that consume little or no alcohol.
Some patients with NAFLD progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a more severe disease, characterized by hepatic fat accumulation combined with inflammation. NASH is thought to affect approximately 2-5% of Americans and can progress to an irreversible stage that includes cirrhosis and liver failure. Diabetics, overweight and obese people are at significant risk of developing these fatty liver disorders.
Because the only accurate method of detecting NAFLD or NASH is a liver biopsy, the diseases are under-diagnosed and poorly managed. Lipomics is developing blood-based diagnostics for the early detection of NAFLD, the ability to distinguish between NAFLD and NASH, and other diagnostics for liver health.
“The current gold standard of diagnosis is invasive liver biopsy. Our diagnostics provide non-invasive blood-based tests that will empower doctors to detect liver disorders in their earliest stages and support management of patient care where liver disease is present. These safe and effective tests will open the door to a greatly improved standard of care for millions of patients”, said Steve Watkins, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Lipomics.
Scientists from the UNC School of Medicine discovered that the anti-inflammatory protein NLRP12 normally helps protect mice against obesity and insulin resistance when they are fed a high-fat diet. The researchers also reported that the NLRP12 gene is underactive in people who are obese, making it a potential therapeutic target for treating obesity and diabetes.READ MORE
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease produces no noticeable symptoms, but one out of every five people with it will go on to develop a more serious conditions such as nonalcoholic steatohepatosis and cirrhosis. Three new studies investigate how mitochondrial energy production is altered by the progress of fatty liver disease.READ MORE