WESTFIELD, N.J., Nov. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Acquist Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company committed to bettering the lives of people with inflammatory diseases, presented results for its investigational drugs for patients with NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis). In human liver cells treated with a NASH promotor, the Company's lead drug (ACQT1127) blocked a 70-fold increase in uric acid (UA) by more than 98%, and reduced by more than 50% a marked increase in triglycerides, which commonly occurs with late-stage NASH drugs. ACQT1127 also renormalized dysregulated levels of seven NASH-related activators, at least four of which (AMPKα, Acetyl CoA Carboxylase, SREBP1, and ATP citrate lyase) are currently targeted in late-stage clinical trials with drugs from other companies. The data were presented by Acquist's Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Raymond P. Warrell, Jr., at The Liver Meeting®, held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco.
Acquist has developed novel, potent bifunctional inhibitors that regulate both production and excretion of UA. Prior studies have shown that lowering UA in animals with NASH can halt lipogenesis, inflammation, and disease progression, but the benefit was limited to animals with elevated UA. UA appears to be a central mediator of NASH and may be a causal factor in NASH patients with high serum UA, comprising 30% of patients.
Dr. Warrell commented, "Our data complement earlier work showing striking benefit from lowering UA in NASH animal models. The new data in human liver cells indicate our biomarker-defined approach could benefit a specific subgroup of NASH patients by altering both upstream and downstream activators of lipogenesis and inflammation. However, this targeted approach may require novel drugs like ACQT1127, since conventional agents (i.e., allopurinol, febuxostat, lesinurad, etc.) are associated with liver, renal, and cardiovascular side-effects that suggest unsuitability for NASH patients. Given its high potency and multifunctional targeting, ACQT1127 may make a substantial contribution to the treatment of both gout and NASH."
About NASH and Gout
Acquist targets diseases that share a common characteristic: excessive levels of serum uric acid, which can induce inflammation that leads to progressive illness, deformity, debilitation, and organ failure. In Gout, the Company is developing potentially transformational therapy for an illness that afflicts at least 16 million patients in the U.S./EU and is epidemic in East Asia. Gout patients have excess uric acid that leads to exquisitely painful arthritis, kidney failure, and probably accelerated cardiovascular disease. Fewer than 25% of gout patients respond to standard 1st-line treatment.
In NASH, uric acid promotes accumulation of liver fat, which can trigger inflammation that leads to progressive fibrosis and liver failure. No drugs have been approved for NASH.
Acquist is focused on improving health for patients with inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Simultaneously targeting enzymes that regulate both production and excretion of uric acid, Acquist compounds are markedly more potent than standard monofunctional drugs. Our prototype drug has demonstrated exceptional clinical activity. In NASH and gout, effective treatment could relieve both morbidity and mortality from these progressive illnesses. Further information can be accessed at www.acquistrx.com.
Brian M. Pinkston
Tiberend Strategic Advisors
SOURCE Acquist Therapeutics, Inc.