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Akero Therapeutics said Tuesday that an experimental medicine improved liver scarring at twice the rate of a placebo without worsening other symptoms — achieving the main goal of a mid-stage clinical trial involving patients with the fatty liver disease known as NASH.

If the encouraging study results are confirmed in later Phase 3 clinical trials, the Akero drug, called efruxifermin, could become an effective treatment for a chronic disease that has grown into one of the leading causes of liver transplantation and liver cancer.


“We’re excited to have some good news for the NASH field because there hasn’t been a lot of good data recently. The unmet medical need is huge,” said Kitty Yale, Akero’s chief development officer, in an interview with STAT.

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