First study in decade provides hope for patients suffering from primary biliary cirrhosis

Mar 31, 2011

Results from an international study presented today at the International Liver Congress have shown Obeticholic Acid (OCA) is a safe and effective treatment in patients suffering from Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) as demonstrated by substantial decreases in the levels of alkaline phosphatase (AP) enzyme in the blood, a key marker for PBC.

In this double blind parallel group study, 59 patients received 10 or 50mg of OCA or a placebo once a day for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks the 10mg group showed the greatest reduction in AP levels.

PBC is a chronic disease that slowly destroys some of the tubes (bile ducts) linking the liver to the gut. PBC predominantly affects females at a ratio of approximately nine women to every one man. Bile ducts carry bile to the gut but in patients with PBC, bile can no longer flow through effectively and instead builds up in the liver, damaging the and causing inflammation and scarring. Long-term damage over the years can result in cirrhosis and .

Daniele Prati, EAS's Scientific Committee Member and Press Committee Chairman commented: "It is extremely encouraging to see that OCA seems to be effective in patients from a variety of countries. This is the first treatment trial in many years for patients with PBC that has shown such promising results. Further studies are needed to evaluate the action of this therapy compared to existing therapies and in larger patient populations."

OCA, 6-ethyl chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) or INT-747, is a novel derivative of CDCA, the natural ligand for the farnesoid-X receptor, a bile acid receptor which is found in the .

Explore further: Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

More information: References


1. Kowdley V.K et al. An International Study Evaluating the Farnesopid X Receptor Agonist Obeticholic Acid as Monotherapy in PBC. Presented at The International Liver Congress 2011

2. Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, British Liver Trust. www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/home/the-liver/liver-diseases/primary-biliary-cirrhosis.aspx . Accessed March 2011

3. What is Primary Biliary Cirrhosis, PBC Foundation – support for life. www.pbcfoundation.org.uk/Information.htm . Accessed March 2011

Provided by European Association for the Study of the Liver

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Toxic bile damages the liver

Oct 24, 2008

Researchers at the Heidelberg University Hospital have discovered a new genetic disease that can lead to severe liver damage. Because a protective component of the bile is missing, the liver cells are exposed to the toxic ...

Consortium finds chronic liver cirrhosis clues

Mar 13, 2011

Researchers have provided new clues into the genetics underlying a chronic form of liver disease, called primary biliary cirrhosis, which can lead to transplant surgery for patients. The new study identifies 15 genetic regions ...

Recommended for you

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

3 hours ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

Apr 18, 2014

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

Apr 18, 2014

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Apr 18, 2014

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

Apr 18, 2014

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.