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Fatty Liver Disease/Fibrosis Clinical Trial Advances

Galectin Therapeutics (GALT) Doses First Patients with Fatty Liver Disease

Galectin Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GALT - News), the leading developer of therapeutics that target galectin proteins to treat fibrosis and cancer, has been making impressive strides in the development of its GR-MD-02 treatment for patients with fatty liver disease with advanced fibrosis. After submitting a Fast Track application to the FDA earlier this month, the company today announced that its first patient was dosed in GR-MD-02’s Phase I clinical trial.

With no treatments for fatty liver disease with advanced fibrosis currently available, the company’s GR-MD-02 represents a potential first-in-class treatment to the nine million to 15 million Americans, including children, which are affected by the silent epidemic. The only alternative for these patients is a transplant, but there are limited donors available and the procedure is very costly, making this treatment extremely valuable to both the company and its potential patients.

The Phase I multi-center, partially-blinded clinical trial will be conducted in 24 patients with fatty liver disease and advanced fibrosis, who will receive four weekly doses of GR-MD-02 at one of six U.S. centers with extensive experience treating the disease. While early data from the clinical trial will primarily be safety-based, investors are hoping that signs of efficacy will also be observed in the small patient cohort, making it an event certainly worth watching closely.

Investors in fibrosis-focused stocks like Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:VRTX - News) or cancer-related stocks like Exelixis Inc. (NASDAQ:EXEL - News) may want to take a closer look at the stock as it progresses through these clinical trials, particularly as it may be approved for fast-track status.

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