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First drug treatment sought to treat fatty liver disease

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Galectin Therapeutics, Inc.has completes enrollment for its first cohort of a Phase 1 trial of GR-MD-02 determine the effectiveness of for single and multiple doses of GR-MD-02 in treating Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), also known as fatty liver disease with advanced fibrosis. GR-MD-02 is a complex carbohydrate drug that targets galectin-3, a critical protein in the pathogenesis of diseases that involve scaring of organs such as cancer, and inflammatory and fibrotic disorders.

“The drug binds to galectin proteins and disrupts their function, “ explains Dr. Peter G. Traber, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Medical Officer of Galectin Therapeutics Inc., “Our intent is to reverse the fibrosis and cirrhosis. To date, we have seen no serious adverse events in the trial. Following the 70- day study period and analysis of the data, we anticipate that initial safety and tolerability results, as well as biomarkers to evaluate for potential disease effect, from the first cohort will be available around the end of the first quarter of this is now complete.”

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis disease currently affects between 9-15 million people, including
children, in the U.S. as a result of increased obesity leading to the presence of fat in the liver along with inflammation and damage in people who drink little or no alcohol. Over time, patients with fatty liver disease can develop fibrosis, or scarring of the liver. The CDC also estimates that, “as many as 3 million people will develop cirrhosis, a severe liver disease where liver transplantation is the only current treatment available.”

Approximately 6,300 liver transplants are performed throughout the US each year.