Previously, Executive Director Veronica Miller explained how she arrived to the field of NAFLD and the history of the Liver Forum. This conversation begins with recollections from Manal Abdelmalek and Jörn Schattenberg on their respective introductions to the Liver Forum.
Before the collaborative space existed, Manal points out that when industry first began to ponder NASH drugs there were no road maps for trial design or endpoints. Jörn then describes his first attendance of a Liver Forum meeting. He found the experience to be uniquely valuable for its welcoming diversity of stakeholder inclusion and participation. Today, he is on the steering committee.
The remainder of the session revolves around the panelists’ responses to questions from Roger Green, beginning with the intentionality behind using the word “forum” to represent their work. Following, Veronica discusses an ongoing project aimed to develop research tools and metrics that can capture the richness available in a plethora of data emerging from NASH studies. She envisions the field of omics to potentially illuminate a myriad of patient-specific biomarkers. Comparatively, she deems the biopsy a “very blunt tool.” She goes on to note that the COVID-19 pandemic complicated the challenges of conducting trials and developing data. Stakeholders are now returning to sieve through huge quantities of emerging data, distilling them into lessons that will shape how we diagnose and treat Fatty Liver patients. At the end of this session, Veronica begins to introduce the Placebo Arm Database Project, co-chaired by Manal.