BMC gastroenterology 2018 01 0518(1) 3 doi 10.1186/s12876-017-0736-0
Pathogenesis in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) involves abnormal cholesterol metabolism and hepatic accumulation of toxic free cholesterol. Apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT) inhibition in the terminal ileum may facilitate removal of free cholesterol from the liver by reducing recirculation of bile acids (BAs) to the liver, thereby stimulating new BA synthesis from cholesterol. The aim of this phase 1 study in adult healthy volunteers (HVs) and patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of ASBT inhibition with volixibat (SHP626; formerly LUM002).
Participants were randomised 3:1 to receive once-daily oral volixibat (0.5 mg, 1 mg, 5 mg or 10 mg) or placebo for 28 days in two cohorts (HV and T2DM). Assessments included safety, faecal BA and serum 7α-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one (C4; BA synthesis biomarker).
Sixty-one individuals were randomised (HVs: placebo, n = 12; volixibat, n = 38; T2DM: placebo, n = 3; volixibat, n = 8). No deaths or treatment-related serious adverse events were reported. Mild or moderate gastrointestinal adverse events were those most frequently reported with volixibat. With volixibat, mean total faecal BA excretion on day 28 was ~1.6-3.2 times higher in HVs (643.73-1239.3 μmol/24 h) and ~8 times higher in T2DM (1786.0 μmol/24 h) than with placebo (HVs: 386.93 μmol/24 h; T2DM: 220.00 μmol/24 h). With volixibat, mean C4 concentrations increased by ~1.3-5.3-fold from baseline to day 28 in HVs and by twofold in T2DM.
Volixibat was generally well tolerated. Increased faecal BA excretion and serum C4 levels support the mechanistic rationale for exploring ASBT inhibition in NASH. The study was registered with the Dutch clinical trial authority (Centrale Commissie Mensgebonden Onderzoek; trial registration number NL44732.056.13; registered 24 May 2013).