MAR 23, 2019 9:13 PM PDT

New Drug Therapeutic for Portal Hypertension

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

According to a study published in the journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, drug therapy, called sivelestat, may effectively treat life-threatening liver diseases such as those associated with cirrhosis and in particular lower portal hypertension.

Results of the study concluded by Mayo Clinic researchers have showed that sivelestat, in mouse models and human liver samples, improved symptoms and outcomes for liver disease patients. "This was an exciting confirmation of our findings and their applicability to human disease" says, Dr. Vijay Shah, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and senior author. "Sivelestat has been safely used in humans with acute lung injury and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. This suggests that sivelestat and similar drugs constitute a potential means to decrease portal hypertension in patients with chronic liver disease."

Current therapeutics are available for certain forms of liver disease, such as hepatitis C and autoimmune hepatitis, however treatments have been limited for treating portal hypertension--a condition associated with cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases and characterized by an increase in pressure within the portal vein that carries blood from abdominal organs to the liver.

"The study paves the way for developing new drugs and repurposing of existing compounds to target inflammation in the liver driven by disease-related mechanical forces," says Dr. Moira Hilscher M.D., the paper's first author. "Given the increasing prevalence of advanced liver disease due to alcohol and obesity, this is clearly an unmet need."

Specifically, the study showed that sivelestat decreases portal hypertension through the inhibition of the neutrophil function. Neutrophils are critical cells of the immune system that are involved in producing microvascular blood clots known as fibrin which in turn contributes portal hypertension. "Neutrophils had not previously been identified as significant drivers of portal hypertension," says Hilscher.

Results of the study were illustrated in two models of chronic liver disease.

Source: Mayo Clinic

 

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
NOV 25, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
NOV 25, 2019
Darobactin: Promising New Drug to Combat Antibiotic Resistance
Every year, around 700,000 people are estimated to die from drug-resistant infections thanks to our overuse of antibiotics both in agriculture and medicine...
DEC 08, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
DEC 08, 2019
Parkinson's Drug Reduces Hallucinations in Dementia Patients
Pimavanserin, also known as Nuplazid, was approved in the US to treat Parkinson’s-related psychosis in 2016. Now, new research has shown that it also...
JAN 21, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
JAN 21, 2020
Drug Targets Gastrointestinal Cancer
The FDA has recently approved Ayvakit (avapritinib) for the treatment of unresectable and metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) that occurs most...
FEB 03, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FEB 03, 2020
HIV Viral Structures Improve Therapeutics
Researchers have recently discovered how a powerful class of HIV drugs bind to a key piece of HIV machinery. Their findings, for the first time, shows how ...
FEB 08, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FEB 08, 2020
Drug Targets Brain-Eating Amoebas
Brain-eating amoebas lead to high rates of mortality as a result of encephalitis. In fact, more than 95% of people who develop the infection will die. Unfo...
FEB 20, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FEB 20, 2020
Antibiotics for Superbug Infections?
Antibiotics for superbug infections? A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims that a combination of compounds can ta...
Loading Comments...