This webinar, hosted by Patrick Short of Sano Genetics and featuring Wayne Eskridge and Dr. Neeraj Mistry focussed on the non-invasive screening and genomics in NAFLD (Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease).
The link to the full webinar is here; a brief summary is below for easy reference.
Dr. Patrick Short, PhD is the Co-founder and CEO of Sano Genetics. Sano’s platform helps clinical development teams to move 10x faster at 5x lower cost by automating entire workflows for protocols, consent, prescreening, genetic testing, and matchmaking with trial sites.
Wayne Eskridge is CEO and Founder of the Fatty Liver Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment, and support of people with fatty liver disease. The foundation's mission is to advance non-invasive screening methods and develop personalised medicine to reach people at the most opportune time to lead to their health.
As Chief Medical Officer at the Fatty Liver Foundation, Dr. Mistry is a public health physician with extensive experience in global health policy and programming. He has worked in developing and developed countries, in the public and private sectors, and across clinical practice, health policy, and social development.
Wayne’s personal journey with fatty liver disease led him to found the Fatty Liver Foundation; in this webinar, he highlighted the need for early detection and screening of asymptomatic disease, which is not currently part of standard medical practice in the US.
The panelists discussed the SUN (Screening for Undiagnosed NAFLD/NASH) study, which aimed to determine if the community would accept being tested or want to be tested for asymptomatic disease. The study found that people are willing to be tested. This led to a study in which a thousand people were scanned with Fibroscan, which is a non-invasive liver stiffness measurement tool. The results were shocking, with 73% of people having liver fat, 17% having NASH, and 17% having measurable stiffness. The Fatty Liver Foundation plans to follow up with the SUN program and ultimately screen a million patients a year for asymptomatic disease.
Non-invasive screening was also discussed in the webinar, and the potential of non-invasive blood markers, genetic testing, and mechanical tests was highlighted. The Fatty Liver Foundation is advocating for the advancement of non-invasive screening, which would allow for early detection and prevention of disease. A blood test called liver fast, which is done by fiber agnostics, was also discussed. This blood test easily gives patients information and allows them to understand their status intuitively. The Fatty Liver Foundation plans to take non-invasive screening to precision liver health, where combinations of non-invasive tests can be done early enough to avoid significant disease progression.
The Wellness League is the vehicle that the Fatty Liver Foundation is using to bring various siloed disease modalities together. The goal is to eliminate the way that patients are pigeonholed into different disease modalities and to think of this as a whole person as opposed to a patient with a specific disease. The Wellness League is also attempting to make better sense of the complex situation of the public health system.
This webinar highlighted the importance of early detection and screening of asymptomatic disease, the potential of non-invasive screening, and the need to bring various siloed disease modalities together. The Fatty Liver Foundation is advocating for policy changes to address these issues and is working towards precision liver health where early detection and prevention are possible.