Siemens is launching its Enhanced Liver Fibrosis (ELF) diagnostic in the U.S. this week to help test patients with chronic liver disease.
This new testing service comes out of the Siemens Healthcare Laboratory (SHL), a unit of Siemens Healthineers that can test a small blood sample from a patient and then give back a “unitless numeric score via an algorithm by combining the quantitative measurements in a serum sample of three direct markers of liver fibrosis,” the company said.
This includes: hyaluronic acid (HA), amino-terminal propeptide of type III procollagen (PIIINP) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1).
This ELF Score is designed to better help patients by identifying chronic liver disease including in those with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as well as viral hepatitis and alcoholism and seeking those out who have a higher risk of having their liver deteriorate further, which could prove fatal if left unchecked.
“Identifying patients with advancing liver fibrosis is a challenge for physicians given the silent nature of the disease. Combined with the increasing burden of liver fibrosis, the demand for efficient, accurate, and safe means testing patients who are at risk of liver-related outcomes becomes increasingly important for helping manage their condition,” says Patrick Joseph, M.D., medical director of Siemens Healthcare Laboratory.
“Our ELF testing service, that measures three direct markers of fibrosis, represents a clinically validated, reliable and convenient testing solution for physicians to help manage patients with progressing liver fibrosis associated with NAFLD and NASH.”
This comes amid a growing number of patients with liver disease in the Western world, with the rise said to come from obesity-related fatty livers, which can cause scarring, liver failure and liver death and is set to become the largest reason for liver transplants in the coming decades.
There is a major rush from biopharma to get drugs to treat the condition onto the market, though there have been a number of setbacks in recent trials, and testing for the disease is still being developed.
Siemens says that this all means: “There is significant need for convenient, reliable and reproducible blood tests like the SHL ELF testing service that help identify patients with signs and symptoms of chronic liver disease who may progress to potentially life-threatening liver-related outcomes, which can help improve the prediction of NAFLD/NASH and chronic liver disease patients at risk of disease progression.”