Background: NGM282, an engineered analogue of the gut hormone FGF19, improves hepatic steatosis and fibrosis biomarkers in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, NGM282 increases serum cholesterol levels by inhibiting CYP7A1, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme in the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids. Herein, we investigate whether administration of a statin can manage the cholesterol increase seen in patients with NASH receiving treatment with NGM282. Methods: In this phase II, open-label, multicenter study, patients with biopsy-confirmed NASH were treated with subcutaneous NGM282 once daily for 12 weeks. After 2 weeks, rosuvastatin was added in stepwise, biweekly incremental doses to a maximum of 40 mg daily. Both drugs were continued until the end of treatment at week 12. We evaluated plasma lipids, lipoprotein particles and liver fat content. Results: In 66 patients who received NGM282 0.3 mg (n = 23), NGM282 1 mg (n = 21), or NGM282 3 mg (n = 22), circulating cholesterol increased from baseline at week 2. Initiation of rosuvastatin resulted in rapid decline in plasma levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. At week 12, reductions from baseline in total cholesterol levels of up to 18% (p <0.001), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol of up to 28% (p <0.001), triglycerides of up to 34% (p <0.001) and an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol of up to 16% (p <0.001), with similar changes in lipoprotein particles, were observed in these patients. Robust decreases from baseline in 7alpha-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one (p <0.001) and liver fat content (p <0.001) were also observed. Rosuvastatin was safe and well-tolerated when co-administered with NGM282 in patients with NASH. Conclusions: In this multicenter study, NGM282-associated elevation of cholesterol was effectively managed with rosuvastatin. Co-administration of rosuvastatin with NGM282 may be a reasonable strategy to optimize the cardiovascular risk profile in patients with NASH. Lay summary: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) represents a large and growing public health concern with no approved therapy. NGM282, an engineered analogue of the gut hormone FGF19, reduces liver fat, liver injury and inflammation in patients with NASH. However, NGM282 increases cholesterol levels. Here we show that co-administration of a statin can manage the cholesterol increase seen in patients with NASH receiving treatment with NGM282, producing a favorable overall lipid profile.
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
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