NORCROSS, Ga., July 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Galectin Therapeutics (NASDAQ:GALT), the leading developer of therapeutics that target galectin proteins to treat fibrosis and cancer, announced today that the first patient has been successfully dosed in a Phase 1 clinical trial of GR-MD-02. The first-in-man study will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and exploratory biomarkers for efficacy for single and multiple doses of GR-MD-02 when administered to patients with fatty liver disease with advanced fibrosis.
GR-MD-02 is a complex carbohydrate drug that targets galectin-3, a critical protein in the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease and fibrosis. Galectin proteins play a major role in diseases that involve scaring of organs such as cancer, and inflammatory and fibrotic disorders. The drug binds to galectin proteins and disrupts their function. Preclinical data has shown that GR-MD-02 has robust treatment effects in reversing fibrosis and cirrhosis.
"The successful first patient dosing in the clinical trial of GR-MD-02 is a critical milestone in Galectin's development program. There are currently no treatments for fatty liver disease with advanced fibrosis; this milestone takes us one step closer to bringing a first-in-class treatment to the millions of Americans suffering from this silent epidemic," said Dr. Peter G. Traber, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Medical Officer of Galectin Therapeutics Inc. "We anticipate that enrollment of the first cohort of eight patients in the Phase 1 trial will be complete by late summer with initial safety and tolerability results available following the 70 day study period and analysis of the data."
The Phase 1 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. The study, which includes a dose escalation design, will be conducted at six US centers with extensive experience in clinical trials in liver disease. This first patient dosing took place at Indiana University under the direction of the Principal Investigator Dr. Naga Chalasani, a world-renowned expert in NASH.The trial is titled, "A Multi-Center, Partially Blinded, Maximum Tolerated Multiple Dose Escalation, Phase 1 Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Safety of GR-MD-02 in Subjects with Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) with Advanced Hepatic Fibrosis." Trial design details can be found at http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01899859?term=gt-020&rank=1. An estimated 9 to 15 million Americans, including children, are affected by fatty liver disease. Without an available therapeutic treatment, the only alternative for patients with fatty liver disease is a transplant but there are limited donors available and the procedure is costly.