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Biotech company 89bio said Wednesday that its experimental treatment improved liver scarring at more than three times the rate of placebo without worsening other symptoms of patients with the fatty liver disease known as NASH.

The results met the main goal of a mid-stage clinical trial, with the potential for less frequent injections than a similar experimental treatment being developed by a competing drugmaker.


In the study, 27% of the patients injected with the highest dose of the 89bio drug called pegozafermin every two weeks showed a clinically meaningful reduction in liver fibrosis, or scarring, without other symptoms of NASH getting worse. In a group of patients offered a placebo, 7% of participants met the same response criteria. The result was statistically significant, 89bio said.

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