There are a few key causes of a fatty liver, one of which is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It occurs when excessive alcohol consumption causes large deposits of fat in the liver. It is one of the most commonly linked diseases to alcoholism and also one of the most commonly found liver disorders in developed economies. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is caused by reasons linked to metabolic issues and insulin resistance. Obesity is another factor that can significantly increase the chances of contracting NAFLD.
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According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the rate of NAFLD in the U.S. within 2011 and 2012 was nearly 30%. In cases where NAFLD was not detected in time and reached higher levels of complications, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can occur. It is the most extreme form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and is a direct causative factor for liver cirrhosis. NAFLD by itself can be treated successfully if detected in time. NASH, on the other hand, needs special care.
The global non-alcoholic steatohepatitis therapeutics market is expected to reach US$20.2 bn by the end of 2025. It is expanding at a CAGR of 10.70% between 2015 and 2025. The key players in this market that are expected to play a major role in the market’s immediate future include Tobira Therapeutics, Inc., Conatus Pharmaceuticals, Immuron Ltd., Zydus Cadila, Gilead Sciences, Inc., GENFIT SA, Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Astazeneca Plc.
The major segments of the market by drug type include Saroglitazar, Aramchol, Elafibranor, Obeticholic acid, and potential drug candidates in phase III. Elafibranor is expected to lead the market in the near future by being the largest and fastest growing segment of the global non-alcoholic steatohepatitis therapeutics market. Elafibranor is currently the most advanced and most effective drug in this market and is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of all the various drug types.
There are no treatments that are specifically used for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Apart from the various drugs used for the treatment of fatty liver, doctors often suggest the patient to start losing weight if they are overweight. Other suggestions given include completely avoiding alcohol, consuming a balanced diet, and increasing physical activity.
Medical records are pointing to an increasing prevalence of NAFLD and NASH across the world. However, these issues are more common in developed economies such as North America. This is due to the larger percentage of the obese population in the total population in developed regions than others. The global non-alcoholic steatohepatitis therapeutics market is, therefore, developing at a higher rate in countries such as the U.S., owing to the higher demand for NASH and NAFLD treatment options. The healthcare industry in these regions is taking fatty liver complications a lot more seriously. In the recent past, the number of obese adults and children in the U.S. have doubled and tripled, respectively. This is a major issue, as obese patients who suffer from NFALD or NASH are also likely to suffer from high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
Apart from obesity, patients of glucose intolerance and dyslipidemia are also prone to suffer from NFALD and NASH. There is no clear link that points to the reason NFALD occurs, but it is currently suggested that insulin resistance has a major role to play in it. In spite of the severity of the disease, patients are largely asymptomatic until complications arise. Therefore, the best preventive measure against NFALD and NASH is to lead a healthy life and moderate alcohol consumption.
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