Hepion Pharmaceuticals’ (NASDAQ:HEPA) collaborators from London’s Institute of Hepatology will present new findings on Hepion’s cyclophilin inhibitor, rencofilstat, in an awarded oral presentation at the 2022 joint meeting of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism and European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism in Cracow, Poland, Sept. 17-20, 2022.
Alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) is a global health burden with a lack of effective therapies. Previous studies have demonstrated that cyclophilins participate in various stages of liver disease, including steatosis, fibrosis, inflammation, cell injury and hepatocellular carcinoma.
The study to be presented evaluated the effects of rencofilstat in human tissue-derived experimental models of ALD, and on fibrosis in primary hepatic stellate cell (HSC) cultures.
In addition to reducing alpha-smooth muscle actin and improving collagen fiber alignment in HSCs, rencofilstat profoundly reduced the expression and secretion of pro-fibrogenic markers and restored a balanced cytokine profile in patient-matched precision cut liver slices exposed to hepatotoxic insults.
“These data confirm the role of cyclophilins in liver fibrosis, including HSC activation, collagen deposition and orientation, while also revealing, for the first time, rencofilstat’s therapeutic potential to reduce ALD-induced fibrosis,” Dr. Robert Foster, PharmD, Ph.D., CEO of Hepion, said in a statement.