Chinese biotech's MASH candidate reduces liver fat in phase 2 trial

Chipscreen Biosciences' metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) candidate reduced patients' liver fat levels, adding further momentum to drugs aimed at the condition.

The Shenzhen, China-based biotech says chiglitazar produced “significant and dose-dependent reductions” in liver fat content from baseline compared to placebo during a phase 2 study, according to a Monday press release. The company did not provide data to support the primary endpoint win and said more will be revealed at an upcoming conference or in a medical journal. Chipscreen also reported that patients given chiglitazar “showed significant or dose-dependent trend of improvements” on a number of secondary endpoints.

As for safety, Chipscreen kept it short and sweet: “The overall safety is good.” 

Chiglitazar has already been approved in China as a treatment for type 2 diabetes in addition to diet and exercise, with Chipscreen looking to expand its use in combination with anti-diabetic drug metformin. 

The sampling of phase 2 data teased Monday comes days after Madrigal Pharmaceuticals scored the first-ever FDA approval to treat MASH, which has previously been known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The much-hyped class of GLP-1 medications have also shown promise as potential MASH treatments.

Chipscreen’s metabolic ambitions have grown in parallel with the biotech’s oncology work, centered on its epigenetic modulator, chidamide. The drug is approved in China as a treatment for peripheral T-cell lymphoma and breast cancer, with ongoing trials testing it in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma and non-small cell lung cancer.