The liver disease treatment market has received a lot of attention in the past two decades. This is due to the adoption of unhealthy lifestyle and diet habits followed by individuals worldwide.
Consumption of junk food that consist unsaturated fat and have high cholesterol levels pose a threat to the liver and may cause chronic diseases.
Alcohol intake has increased over the years, which is another factor driving the liver disease treatment market. The growing geriatric population also contributes to the growth of the market.
Government initiatives and the rising awareness related to liver diseases is playing an important role to enlighten individuals around the globe. Scientists and researchers are utilizing a lot of time and resources to develop or discover new drugs that will help to cure liver diseases or combat them at the least.
A report articulated by the expert analysts at Allied Market Research was recently published. The study offers useful insights related to the market such as market share, size and growth and is a useful source of information for individuals interested in the liver disease treatment market.
New drug to prevent liver disease on the horizon:
With the rise in liver diseases incidences, scientists and medical experts are striving hard to find a cost-effective and efficient drug to tackle liver diseases.
A lot of priority is given to research and development citing the rise in population with chronic liver disease owing to unhealthy lifestyle habits such as high intake of alcohol and fatty food items.
A drug that is commonly used to prevent allergies and asthma could potentially open new avenues soon for prevention of liver diseases and reduce the need for transplants.
A group of researchers at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute in partnership with Central Texas Veteran’s Healthy Care System and Texas A&M Health Science Center discovered that cromolyn sodium had the ability to block cells that trigger liver scarring, also known as fibrosis.
In advanced stages, it can also lead to cirrhosis. The recent development will drastically help patients diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). PSC is a chronic disease that causes liver damage by damaging bile ducts.
With no effective treatment discovered to treat the disease, patients often opt for a liver transplant due to lack of other alternatives.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis causes swelling and scarring in liver. This could be due to short-term damage (minor injury) or a long-term injury (alcohol consumption) that is diagnosed in middle-aged patients.
If not treated on time, PSC can lead to liver failure, tumors or infections. According to Heather L. Bradley-Francis, Ph.D., investigator at the Digestive Disease Research Center (DDRC) at Baylor Scott & White Health, mast cells become more active during a disease.
The goal of the research was to pinpoint the mast cells, and make them inactive. The initial tests results have been encouraging and with more research and development, cromolyn sodium drug will soon be used to treat patients owing to its histamine-blocking properties to hinder the progress of fibrosis.
With this, the number of liver transplants will reduce significantly. With advancement in technology and the better understanding of the matter, liver fibrosis could soon be treated in an efficient manner.
Ray of light in treatment of fatty liver disease
The number of liver disease incidences in the past decade has skyrocketed. Indulgence in unhealthy food habits and high intake of alcohol, lead to several fatty liver diseases and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Thus, the need to identify and discover cost-effective, reliable and efficient therapeutics is essential. In October 2016, Indian researchers stumbled upon a new system in which the liver accumulates extra fat from sources other than alcohol.
The scientists have also managed to analyze a newly developed drug target that could potentially be used in therapy for people who are typically overweight and have type-2 diabetes. The effects of NAFLD are severe and is growing at a fast pace and there is no definite therapy for the disease.
NAFLD patients gradually develop the most extreme form of the disease which is known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The condition is irreversible and causes swelling and damages the liver, which triggers cirrhosis.
A senior researcher Partha Chakrabarti, alone the research group at the laboratory at Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, probed into the crippling disease that evolves over decades. According to Partha, multiple molecular mechanisms that cause NAFLD are put recognized over the years.
However, the research group identified an unknown mechanism for the control of liver fat. The research team found that inhibition of COP1 can significantly reduce liver fat in NAFLD.
However, it is still not clear whether COP1 can halt disease progression or can prevent NASH. The new development is a ray of light as far as treatment of fatty liver disease is concerned and should motivate the scientific community to come up with innovative solutions to curb the global problem.
Cell therapy to tackle liver diseases
According to the Belgian firm Promethera Biosciences, the company is the first clinical phase company that treats liver diseases with liver cells and derived stem cells.
The firm uses heterologous human adult liver-derived progenitor cells (HHALPC) to tackle liver disease, rather than the conventional mesenchymal cells that are derived from bone marrow and adipose tissue.
HHALPCS can differentiate into a more mature hepatocyte and can also be used for enzyme replacement. HHALPCs have a wide variety of cytokines that have strong immunomodulatory effects and can hence control inflammation, immune disorders, and fibrosis.
Dr. Etienne Sokal said;
“When you have liver disease, you have damage to the hepatocytes, which cause inflammation. That activates cells that produce extracellular matrix in excess, such as collagen. If you over-produce collagen, the liver hardens and fibrotic conditions develop. The end stage is cirrhosis of the liver.”
The liver disease treatment market will see a growth in the future because of growing awareness about the disease and advancement in medical science and technology.
Karandeep Virdi is a content writer at Allied Market Research who harbors an active interest in the medical industry and its key developments. He researches extensively and writes articles on the current trends and research findings of the industry.