Conference Coverage

Fenofibrate fights increased triglycerides in NASH



– Fenofibrate is safe and effective for limiting triglyceride increases in patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and advanced fibrosis, based on data from 31 adults.

Treatment of NASH with acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitors has been shown to improve liver fat and other liver conditions but may be associated with hyperlipidemia, according to Eric J. Lawitz, MD, of the University of Texas Health, San Antonio, and colleagues. The researchers examined the safety and effectiveness of fenofibrate to mitigate serum triglyceride increases in a study be presented in a late-breaking session at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

The researchers randomized 15 patients to treatment with 48 mg of fenofibrate or 145 mg of fenofibrate once daily for 2 weeks, followed by a combination of the fenofibrate doses plus 20 mg of ACC inhibitor firsocostat daily for 24 weeks.

The median fasting triglycerides (TG) in the 48-mg and 145-mg fenofibrate groups were 218 mg/dL and 202 mg/dL, respectively. After 2 weeks, the median change in TG was +2 mg/dL in the 48-mg group and –42 mg/dL in the 145-mg group. After 24 weeks of combination therapy, TG levels were not significantly different from baseline in either group (+19 mg/dL in 48-mg group and +6 mg/dL in the 145-mg group). Significant reductions in serum alanine aminotransferase from baseline to week 24 occurred in the combined groups (median of 39 U/L vs. 27 U/L, respectively). In addition, 43% of patients overall showed at least a 30% reduction in protein density fat fraction.

Both firsocostat and fenofibrate were well tolerated, the researchers said. One treatment-emergent grade 3 TG elevation (defined as greater than 500 mg/dL) occurred in the 48-mg group at week 24. No hepatotoxicity was noted, no patients discontinued therapy because of adverse events, and no other grade 3 or 4 adverse events were reported.

“The combination of firsocostat and fenofibrate led to improvements in hepatic fat, liver biochemistry, and markers of fibrosis,” the researchers concluded in their abstract.

Lead author Dr. Lawitz disclosed financial relationships with Allergan, Akcea Therapeutics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Gilead Sciences, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, and Novartis.

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SOURCE: Lawitz E et al. The Liver Meeting 2019. Presentation LP5.

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