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TEL AVIV, Israel, April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq: GLMD) ("Galmed" or the "Company"), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of a once-daily, oral therapy for the treatment of liver diseases, announced today that it will hold the 2nd "NASH 2020" forum entitled "NASH: Beyond Liver Biopsy – Current and Next Generation Diagnostic Methods" during the International Liver Congress (ILC), the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), on April 16th in Barcelona, Spain.
"NASH 2020" is a discussion and educational forum open by invitation-only to ARREST Study investigators to allow KoLs and researchers an optimal venue to discuss timely and relevant clinical issues related to NASH in the context of Galmed's ongoing ARREST Study.
This year's forum will cover the currently accepted scoring methodologies for non-invasive prediction of NAFLD severity, as well as provide an overview on the latest research of non-invasive biomarkers. New approaches based on blood, metabolomic and microbiome profiling will be reviewed. The forum will also discuss imaging tools, such as MRI and new forms of elastometry methods for non-invasive quantification of hepatic steatosis and fibrosis.
Faculty members include Prof. Vlad Ratzio (Hôpital Pitié Salpêtrière and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France), the ARREST Study global Principle Investigator, Prof. Rohit Loomba (University of California at San Diego, California, USA), Prof. José Mato (bioGUNE and CIC biomaGUNE, Basque Country, Spain), amongst others.
Professor Vlad Ratziu, the forum Chairperson, commented, "Providing effective therapies to NASH patients is not just about research and testing of promising compounds in clinical trials. It is also about optimizing performance of non-invasive diagnostic methods that identify patients at risk and follow progression of the disease or treatment response." Prof. Ratziu continued, "With their vision and understanding of the field, Galmed is now a key partner to dedicated investigators worldwide in our collective effort to develop all aspects of NASH management."
Allen Baharaff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Galmed, added "At Galmed, we are acutely aware of the clinical need to develop non-invasive diagnostic tools for NASH, and are devoted to supporting these developments." Mr. Baharaff continued, "We believe that highly valuable information will be generated from the approximately 1000 screened and randomized subjects in the ARREST Study. This data will enable us to collaborate with diagnostic leading companies to develop and validate non-invasive prognostic tools to differentiate between NAFLD and NASH patients, as well as design a complementary diagnostic tool for Aramchol's efficacy." Mr. Baharaff concluded, "Ultimately, Galmed aims to take comprehensive ownership of the patient's treatment path."
About Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis:
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the United States and it affects almost 30% of adults in Western countries. With climbing obesity rates and more sedentary patient populations, the prevalence of NAFLD is increasing worldwide and is becoming the predominant cause of chronic liver disease in parts of the world. NAFLD represents a spectrum of diseases ranging from simple excess liver fat, or steatosis, to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is the progressive form of fatty liver disease that can lead to cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis and liver-related mortality in persons who drink little or no alcohol. NASH represents the more severe end of this spectrum and is characterized by steatosis, ballooning degeneration and lobular inflammation with or without fibrosis. Long-term risks of NASH include cardiovascular disease, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and end stage liver disease requiring liver transplantation.
About Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd.:
Galmed is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of a novel, once-daily, oral therapy for the treatment of liver diseases utilizing its proprietary first-in-class family of synthetic fatty-acid/bile-acid conjugates, or FABACs. Galmed believes that its product candidate, Aramchol™, has the potential to be a disease modifying treatment for fatty liver disorders, including NASH, which is a chronic disease that Galmed believes constitutes a large unmet medical need. Galmed is currently conducting the ARREST Study, a multicenter, randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled Phase IIb clinical study designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Aramchol™ in subjects with NASH, who are overweight or obese, and who are pre-diabetic or type-II-diabetic. More information about the ARREST Study may be found on ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02279524