SAN DIEGO, Nov. 05, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Metacrine, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on building an innovative pipeline of best-in-class drugs to treat liver and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, will present data showing rapid efficacy of MET409, a potent, systemic and sustained non-bile acid farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonist in a biopsy confirmed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) mouse model. The poster presentation will take place at The Liver Meeting (AASLD 2018) being held in San Francisco, California on November 11, 2018. The abstract can be found on the AASLD 2018 website at https://www.aasld.org/events-professional-development/liver-meeting/abstracts.
NASH is a liver disease that exists along a continuum of progressive liver deterioration and is characterized by fatty deposits, inflammation and cellular damage. NASH is expected to be the #1 reason for liver transplant by the year 2020. Targeting FXR, a nuclear hormone receptor, represents a clinically validated and effective approach to treating NASH with the added benefit of improving fibrosis. FXR is a ligand-activated transcription factor highly expressed in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. The abstract compares the efficacy of MET409, a sustained non-bile acid FXR agonist, in a pre-clinical mouse NASH model to the activity seen with a transient FXR agonist. This pre-clinical disease model is thought to be representative of human NASH.
MET409 demonstrated superior efficacy with 2 weeks of treatment as compared to 8 weeks of treatment with an equally potent transient FXR agonist. MET409 significantly improved fibrosis, while the transient FXR agonist showed no effect on fibrosis. The findings of this study suggest that MET409 is a promising drug candidate for the improvement of liver health by reducing NASH and fibrosis. MET409 is currently being evaluated in a phase 1 clinical study in healthy volunteers to assess safety, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties.
Metacrine is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on building an innovative pipeline of best-in-class drugs to treat liver and gastrointestinal (GI) diseases. The most advanced program is focused on the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) an important drug target in multiple liver and GI diseases. MET409, the lead product candidate, was purposefully designed to be an optimized, next-generation FXR agonist that is initially being developed as a potentially differentiated and best-in-class treatment for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). In addition, Metacrine plans to evaluate MET409 as a potential first-in-class treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Beyond the FXR program, a pipeline of novel drug candidates against other drug targets is being explored by taking advantage of internal drug discovery and development capabilities. Privately held Metacrine is headquartered in San Diego, California. For additional information, please visit www.metacrine.com.
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