Last weekend, over 400 liver disease stakeholders gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona for the 2nd Annual Liver Connect Conference, sponsored by the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation. The main meeting ran Friday and Saturday and was preceded on Thursday by a half-day session devoted exclusively to NASH (NASH Connect). This two-part episode captures some of the thinking that went into the program design and some highlights of the NASH-related sessions.
The episode begins with a 1:1 interview with Zobair Younossi, President of CLDF and Surfing the NASH Tsunami Host Roger Green. This discussion starts with Zobair describing the goal of Liver Connect: to serve as vehicle between different medical specialties, between medicine and industry, and even between both groups and patients, in terms of practical issues in treating the most important liver diseases. The discussion pivots to the question why the NASH Connect session was devoted to global Health Disparities and the multiple factors that drove the decision. The last reason Zobair gave was the low level of NAFLD awareness and activity around the world, which transitioned into a discussion about the need for stronger programs in virtually every country and the parallel need to appreciate that we need the entire spectrum of relevant providers — dieticians, nutritionists, primary care physicians among others — to engage in fighting this coming pandemic. In the end, Zobair stated his belief that we will accumulate evidence on how to proceed and that good evidence will define our path forward.
The rest of the episode is a panel session with CLDF Vice President Marcelo Kugelmas, event speakers Naim Alkhouri and Mazen Noureddin, Louise Campbell and Roger Green. The group reviews the Thursday Health Disparities session, which included one discussion global disparities in regional disease burden and another on global disease epidemiology and another on disparities in the source of disease and treatment and testing results. Panelists followed this by reviewing the Saturday session, which included two large group discussions. one on non-invasive testing and another on treatment.
The Liver Connect conference was an opportunity to discuss trends in thinking and explore common perspectives. This episode incorporate the same vision into an invigorating discussion.
This episode is sponsored by Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pursuing novel therapeutics for NASH. Madrigal’s lead candidate, resmetirom, is a once daily, oral, thyroid hormone receptor (THR)-β selective agonist that is designed to target key underlying causes of NASH in the liver. Resmetirom is currently being evaluated in two Phase 3 clinical studies, MAESTRO-NASH and MAESTRO- NAFLD-1, designed to demonstrate multiple benefits in patients with NASH. For more information, visit www.madrigalpharma.com.