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GE y el equipo de Takeda hasta desarrollan las drogas para la enfermedad del higado

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | November 13, 2014
GE Healthcare and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company announced on Tuesday that they are partnering to try to improve the diagnosis and treatment of liver disease. As part of an alliance agreement, GE will provide Takeda with diagnostic imaging technology to help them develop therapeutic drugs and diagnostic technologies.

"This alliance will assist efforts to develop new therapeutic options that ease the burden on the patient," Tadataka Yamada, chief medical and scientific officer at Takeda, said in a statement. "Moving forward, we will continue to put the patient first and incorporate a wide range of innovations into the field of drug discovery."

Liver disease has no visible symptoms but it's characterized by hardening of the tissues because of fibrosis, inflammation of the liver and worsened symptoms due to cirrhosis. For the past two decades, the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has doubled, yet other chronic liver diseases have either remained steady or decreased.
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Additionally, NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) have been the main causes of liver disease in developed countries for the past 20 years. New research has confirmed that those diseases also have a comparable impact in the Middle East, Far East, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

In order to diagnose NAFLD and NASH, an invasive liver biopsy has to be performed. The surgeon inserts a needle through the skin and into the patient's liver and obtains a sample for measurement.

However, GE's MR elastography technology, which has been used in the U.S. since 2009 and in Japan since 2012, is able to non-invasively measure the relative stiffness of the liver tissue.

"It is extremely gratifying to me that, through this collaboration, our technologies will be of use in the development of treatments for the liver diseases that are of particular importance not just in Asia, but worldwide," Akihiko Kumagai, chairman of GE Healthcare Japan, said in a statement. "We have been focusing efforts on developing technologies to help provide solutions for liver cancer."

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