NAFLD: partnership to study liver disease

New partnership aims to identify new disease mechanisms and potential targets for treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


Liver is highlighted in translucent representation of human torso

A new partnership between scientists at the University of Birmingham and global healthcare company Novo Nordisk aims to discover new treatments for people suffering from fatty liver disease.  In collaboration with The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) BioResource and the NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre, together with Birmingham Health Partners (BHP).

Professor Philip Newsome, Director of the University of Birmingham's Centre for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research and who leads the partnership, said: "It is estimated that up to a quarter of the adult population worldwide has a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which occurs due to the build-up of fat in the liver and it is commonly seen in patients who are overweight or diabetic.

"What is concerning is that the incidence of fatty liver disease is rapidly increasing word-wide as we are becoming a more sedentary society consuming diets which are high in fat and sugar.

"Non-alcholoci fatty liver disease now therefore presents an enormous challenge for healthcare providers which is made worse due to the lack of approved and effective treatments.

"This exciting new partnership will see us working together with Novo Nordisk to harness our cutting edge translational research facilities and invitro models to identify new disease mechanisms and potential targets for treatment."

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease ranges in severity and can cause liver inflammation, which can lead to liver failure, an increase risk of cancer and death. Many patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease also have an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.

First announced by the University of Birmingham.

First published 3 October 2019