Fatty liver, in its form of steatohepatitis (fat + inflammation + liver necrosis) can be a very aggressive disease and progress to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. The prevalence of fatty liver has been increasing in recent years and affects 20-30% of the general population. Fatty liver is also associated with high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and a greater possibility of colon cancer and chronic kidney disease. For these reasons it is necessary to have effective drugs for the treatment of the disease.
A study on the use of vonafexor for the treatment of the fatty liver disease has been published in the Journal of Hepatology. One hundred and twenty three patients with steatohepatitis were included into various groups and received vonafexor at doses of 100mg, 200mg, 400mg or placebo for 12 weeks.
How this new drug for the treatment of fatty liver works
The authors found that vonafexor significantly decreased liver fat content compared to the placebo group. The drug also significantly decreased the levels of inflammatory markers. In addition, at 12 weeks of treatment, the patients who received vonafexor presented a significant reduction in weight and abdominal circumference in relation to the placebo group. The most frequent side effect suffered by patients treated with vonafexor was pruritus (61% of cases), compared with 6% of those who received placebo.
The data indicate that vonafexor is a promising drug for the treatment of steatohepatitis, although further studies need to be carried out with more patients and perhaps it has to be administered for a longer period of time.