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Fenofibrate Mitigates Hypertriglyceridemia in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Patients Treated With Cilofexor/Firsocostat

  • Lawitz, Eric J
  • Bhandari, Bal Raj
  • Ruane, Peter J
  • Kohli, Anita
  • Harting, Eliza
  • Ding, Dora
  • Chuang, Jen-Chieh
  • Huss, Ryan S
  • Chung, Chuhan
  • Myers, Robert P
  • Loomba, Rohit
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2023
eScholarship - University of California
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Background & aimsPatients with advanced fibrosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are at high risk of morbidity and mortality. We previously found that a combination of the farnesoid X receptor agonist cilofexor (CILO) and the acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitor firsocostat (FIR) improved liver histology and biomarkers in NASH with advanced fibrosis but was associated with hypertriglyceridemia. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of icosapent ethyl (Vascepa) and fenofibrate to mitigate triglyceride elevations in patients with NASH treated with CILO and FIR.MethodsPatients with NASH with elevated triglycerides (≥150 and <500 mg/dL) were randomized to Vascepa 2 g twice daily (n = 33) or fenofibrate 145 mg daily (n = 33) for 2 weeks, followed by the addition of CILO 30 mg and FIR 20 mg daily for 6 weeks. Safety, lipids, and liver biochemistry were monitored.ResultsAll treatments were well-tolerated; most treatment-emergent adverse events were Grade 1 to 2 severity, and there were no discontinuations due to adverse events. At baseline, median (interquartile range [IQR]) triglycerides were similar in the Vascepa and fenofibrate groups (median, 177 [IQR, 154-205] vs 190 [IQR, 144-258] mg/dL, respectively). Median changes from baseline in triglycerides for Vascepa vs fenofibrate after 2 weeks of pretreatment were -12 mg/dL (IQR, -33 to 7 mg/dL; P = .09) vs -32 mg/dL (IQR, -76 to 6 mg/dL; P = .012) and at 6 weeks were +41 mg/dL (IQR, 16-103 mg/dL; P < .001) vs -2 mg/dL (IQR, -42 to 54 mg/dL; P = .92). In patients with baseline triglycerides <250 mg/dL, fenofibrate was more effective vs Vascepa in mitigating triglyceride increases after 6 weeks of combination treatment (+6 vs +39 mg/dL); similar trends were observed in patients with baseline triglycerides ≥250 mg/d (-61 vs +99 mg/dL).ConclusionsIn patients with NASH with hypertriglyceridemia treated with CILO and FIR, fenofibrate was safe and effectively mitigated increases in triglycerides associated with acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibition.Clinicaltrialsgov, Number: NCT02781584.

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