Akero Therapeutics screened the first patient for a phase 2a clinical trial of AKR-001, an Fc-FGF21 fusion protein under investigation for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, according to a press release.
“We believe AKR-001 has the potential to become a cornerstone therapy for the treatment of NASH by addressing its underlying metabolic drivers and the liver inflammation and fibrosis these drivers cause, and by improving risk factors for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of mortality for these patients,” Andrew Cheng, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Akero Therapeutics, said in the release.
AKR-001 was engineered to mimic the biological activity profile of native FGF21. Results from previous trials of AKR-001 suggested its potential to reduce liver fat, cellular stress, inflammation and fibrosis related to NASH as well as improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The randomized control phase 2a trial will include a range of doses and the investigators expect to enroll up to 80 patients to be treated for 16 weeks.