SFA Therapeutics today announced approval of the second key U.S. patent derived from its research & development program, which utilizes microbiome-derived metabolite small molecules as drugs to modulate the body’s anti-inflammatory and immune systems.

As a result of this new patent, targeting Ffar2 (GPR43) and Ffar3 (GPR441) and down-regulation of NF-ĸB, the therapeutic applications of SFA’s first major drug, SFA001, will now expand from prevention of the progression of hepatitis B to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC- the most prevalent form of liver cancer) to direct treatment for patients afflicted with liver fibrosis, NASH, or liver cancer derived from HCC.

Commenting on the significance of this achievement, Dr. Mark Feitelson, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Chair of the Professional Science Master’s Program in Biotechnology at Temple University stated:

Chronic hepatitis B and C infections, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and alcoholic liver disease (ALD) are all associated with increased risk for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

In all these cases, HCC arises on a background of long-term inflammation (hepatitis) and tissue damage. HCC is the fifth most prevalent cancer and second leading cause of cancer related deaths worldwide with over 600,000 new patients diagnosed annually, most of which have a poor prognosis. Thus, there is a pressing medical need to develop new approaches to HCC prevention and treatment.

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