BioTuesdays: Galectin targets silent epidemic in liver fibrosis
Fatty liver disease, or the accumulation of fat in liver cells, is a “silent epidemic,” says Dr. Peter Traber, president, CEO and chief medical officer of Galectin Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GALT).
In an interview with BioTuesdays, he says multiple liver diseases lead to fibrosis, and end-stage fibrosis, or cirrhosis, leads to liver failure, medical complications and death. “With fatty liver disease, the most common liver disease, there are very few symptoms until patients reach late-stage disease, with advanced fibrosis and then cirrhosis.”
There is no approved medical therapy for liver fibrosis, and the only current therapy is a liver transplant. Dr. Traber points out that fatty liver disease with fibrosis, or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), has a prevalence of nine-to-15 million people in the U.S., of which 25% to 30% will develop cirrhosis. Dr. Traber further points out that NASH cirrhosis is projected to be the No. 1 reason for a liver transplant.