fatty liver disease

Data from trials show that two diabetes drugs show an ability to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a form of fatty liver disease. The drugs which showed this ability were liraglutide (Victoza) and remogliflozin etabonate.

Whereas liraglutide, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, has been approved for treating type 2 diabetes for a number of years, remogliflozin etabonate, an SGLT-2 inhibitor, is a newer drug that has not received approval from the FDA.

The LEAN (Liraglutide Efficacy and Action in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis) trial was a 48 week study that reviewed the effects of liraglutide on liver health. The trial used a daily 1.8 mg dose of Victoza and compared the effects of the drug against placebo in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. The results showed that 39% those taking Victoza experienced improvement in their liver health, compared with 9% in the placebo group.

In another trial, the drug remogliflozin etabonate was tested against placebo. The 12 week study, which included 336 patients with type 2 diabetes, showed the drug to have greater antioxidant activity than other SGLT-2 inhibitor drugs that have been approved. The lower level of markers for oxidative stress indicates that remogliflozin etabonate may also be well suited to patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.

The data was presented at the European Association for the Study of the Liver International Liver Congress 2015 in Vienna. Dr Markus Peck-Radosavljevic, who moderated during the news conference, noted that the beneficial effects could well have been down to the effects of weight loss brought on by both liraglutide and remogliflozin etabonate.