On May 27 and 28, Surfing the NASH Tsunami covered the 5th Global NASH Congress, which discussed a wide range of topics related to Fatty Liver disease. In this conversation, Louise Campbell, who attended the conference on NASH Tsunami, discusses presentations she found of particular interest. Jörn Schattenberg and Roger Green, who did not attend, ask questions about the presentations and raise issues that come to mind as they listen.
What We Talked About of the 5th Global NASH Congress
Two major themes emerge from this conversation. The first centers on Fatty Liver science, particularly liver structure. In the first keynote of the congress, Sven Franque discussed the vascular alternations even small amounts of liver fat can cause. During one of the congress’s most anticipated presentations, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Founder, Chief Medical Officer and President of R&D Rebecca Taub discussed the idea that different prospective Fatty Liver modes of action affect liver volume differently. Of specific interest, she noted that liver volume increases disproportionately to increases in liver fat. She also noted that the MAESTRO series of trials for resmetirom revealed a larger effect on liver volume than one might have predicted based solely on resmetirom’s impact on liver fat levels. In the discussion, Jörn makes two key observations: (1) the liver vascular bed is unlike the vascular beds of other organs and (2) it has been reported that the impact of NASH on vasculature is different than that of liver fat from other causes.
When discussing patient advocacy, Louise notes that when she attended this meeting in 2019, there were no patient advocates involved, whereas this year, representatives from the Global Liver Institute and the European Liver Patients Association gave talks. Louise stated that the presence of patients changed the entire tone of the discussion, leading people who work with the theory of drug development and drug effects to consider what patients truly need as they listened to the various presentations.