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  • Ydreborg, Magdalena; Lisovskaja, Vera; Lagging, Martin; Christensen, Peer Brehm; Langeland, Nina; Buhl, Mads Rauning; Pedersen, Court; Morch, Kristine; Wejstal, Rune; Norkrans, Gunnar; Lindh, Magnus; Farkkila, Martti; Westin, Johan (2014)
  • Hirschfield, Gideon M.; Beuers, Ulrich; Kupcinskas, Limas; Ott, Peter; Bergquist, Annika; Färkkilä, Martti; Manns, Michael P.; Pares, Albert; Spengler, Ulrich; Stiess, Michael; Greinwald, Roland; Prols, Markus; Wendum, Dominique; Drebber, Uta; Poupon, Raoul (2021)
    Background & Aims: In patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), the efficacy of budesonide, a synthetic corticosteroid displaying high first-pass metabolism, is unresolved. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, we evaluated the added-value of budesonide in those with PBC and ongoing risk of progressive disease despite ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) treatment. Methods: We evaluated 62 patients with PBC who had histologically confirmed hepatic inflammatory activity, according to the Ishak score, and an alkaline phosphatase (ALP) >1.5x upper limit of normal (ULN), after at least 6 months of UDCA therapy. Participants were randomly assigned 2:1 to receive budesonide (9 mg/day) or placebo once daily, for 36 months, with UDCA treatment (12-16 mg/kg body weight/day) maintained. Primary efficacy was defined as improvement of liver histology with respect to inflammation and no progression of fibrosis. Secondary outcomes included changes in biochemical markers of liver injury. Results: Recruitment challenges resulted in a study that was underpowered for the primary efficacy analysis. Comparing patients with paired biopsies only (n = 43), the primary histologic endpoint was not met (p>0.05). The proportion of patients with ALP = 15% decrease in ALP and normal bilirubin was higher in the budesonide group than in the placebo group at 12, 24, and 36 months (p Conclusion: Budesonide add-on therapy was not associated with improved liver histology in patients with PBC and insufficient response to UDCA; however, improvements in biochemical markers of disease activity were demonstrated in secondary analyses. Lay summary: Around one-third of patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) needs additional medical therapy alongside ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) treatment. In this clinical trial, the addition of the corticosteroid budesonide did not improve liver histology; there were however relevant improvements in liver blood tests. (C) 2020 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Int PSC Study Grp; Ponsioen, Cyriel Y.; Assis, David N.; Boberg, Kirsten M.; Färkkilä, Martti; Hübscher, Stefan G. (2021)
  • Färkkilä, Martti; Karvonen, Anna-Liisa; Nurmi, Heimo; Nuutinen, Hannu; Taavitsainen, Matti; Pikkarainen, Pekka; Kärkkäinen, Päivi (2004)
    No effective medical therapy is currently available for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) improves liver enzymes, but its effect on liver histology is controversial. Metronidazole (MTZ) prevents PSC-like liver damage in animal models and reduces intestinal permeability. We recruited 80 patients with PSC into a randomized placebo-controlled study to evaluate the effect of UDCA and MTZ (UDCA/MTZ) compared with UDCA/placebo on the progression of PSC. Patients (41 UDCA/placebo and 39 UDCA/ MTZ) were followed every third month. Assessment of liver function test, histological stage and grade, and cholangiography (via ERCP) at baseline showed no differences between the groups. After 36 months, serum aminotransferases gamma-glutamyltransferase, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) decreased markedly in both groups, serum ALP more significantly in the UDCA/MTZ group (-337 +/- 54 U/L, P
  • Fickert, Peter; Hirschfield, Gideon M.; Denk, Gerald; Marschall, Hanns-Ulrich; Altorjay, Istvan; Farkkila, Martti; Schramm, Christoph; Spengler, Ulrich; Chapman, Roger; Bergquist, Annika; Schrumpf, Erik; Nevens, Frederik; Trivedi, Palak; Reiter, Florian P.; Tornai, Istvan; Halilbasic, Emina; Greinwald, Roland; Pröls, Markus; Manns, Michael P.; Trauner, Michael; European PSC norUDCA Study Grp (2017)
    Background & Aim: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) represents a devastating bile duct disease, currently lacking effective medical therapy. 24-norursodeoxycholic acid (norUDCA) is a side chain-shortened C-23 homologue of UDCA and has shown potent anti-cholestatic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties in a preclinical PSC mouse model. A randomized controlled trial, including 38 centers from 12 European countries, evaluated the safety and efficacy of three doses of oral norUDCA (500 mg/d, 1,000 mg/d or 1,500 mg/d) compared with placebo in patients with PSC. Methods: One hundred sixty-one PSC patients without concomitant UDCA therapy and with elevated serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels were randomized for a 12-week treatment followed by a 4-week follow-up. The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean relative change in ALP levels between baseline and end of treatment visit. Results: norUDCA reduced ALP levels by -12.3%, -17.3%, and -26.0% in the 500, 1,000, and 1,500 mg/d groups (p = 0.029, tively, while a +1.2% increase was observed in the placebo group. Similar dose-dependent results were found for secondary end-points, such as ALT, AST, gamma-GT, or the rate of patients achieving ALP levels <1.5 x ULN. Serious adverse events occurred in seven patients in the 500 mg/d, five patients in the 1,000 mg/d, two patients in the 1500 mg/d group, and three in the placebo group. There was no difference in reported pruritus between treatment and placebo groups. Conclusions: norUDCA significantly reduced ALP values dose-dependently in all treatment arms. The safety profile of norUDCA was excellent and comparable to placebo. Consequently, these results justify a phase III trial of norUDCA in PSC patients. Lay summary: Effective medical therapy for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is urgently needed. In this phase II clinical study in PSC patients, a side chain-shortened derivative of ursodeoxycholic acid, norursodeoxycholic acid (norUDCA), significantly reduced serum alkaline phosphatase levels in a dose-dependent manner during a 12-week treatment. Importantly, norUDCA showed a favorable safety profile, which was similar to placebo. The use of norUDCA in PSC patients is promising and will be further evaluated in a phase III clinical study. (C) 2017 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V.
  • Weismueller, Tobias J.; Trivedi, Palak J.; Bergquist, Annika; Imam, Mohamad; Lenzen, Henrike; Ponsioen, Cyriel Y.; Holm, Kristian; Gotthardt, Daniel; Färkkilä, Martti; Marschall, Hanns-Ulrich; Thorburn, Douglas; Weersma, Rinse K.; Fevery, Johan; Mueller, Tobias; Chazouilleres, Olivier; Schulze, Kornelius; Lazaridis, Konstantinos N.; Almer, Sven; Pereira, Stephen P.; Levy, Cynthia; Mason, Andrew; Naess, Sigrid; Bowlus, Christopher L.; Floreani, Annarosa; Halilbasic, Emina; Yimam, Kidist K.; Milkiewicz, Piotr; Beuers, Ulrich; Huynh, Dep K.; Pares, Albert; Manser, Christine N.; Dalekos, George N.; Eksteen, Bertus; Invernizzi, Pietro; Berg, Christoph P.; Kirchner, Gabi I.; Sarrazin, Christoph; Zimmer, Vincent; Fabris, Luca; Braun, Felix; Marzioni, Marco; Juran, Brian D.; Said, Karouk; Rupp, Christian; Jokelainen, Kalle; de Valle, Maria Benito; Saffioti, Francesca; Cheung, Angela; Trauner, Michael; Schramm, Christoph; Int PSC Study Grp (2017)
    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an orphan hepatobiliary disorder associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We aimed to estimate the risk of disease progression based on distinct clinical phenotypes in a large international cohort of patients with PSC. METHODS: We performed a retrospective outcome analysis of patients diagnosed with PSC from 1980 through 2010 at 37 centers in Europe, North America, and Australia. For each patient, we collected data on sex, clinician-reported age at and date of PSC and IBD diagnoses, phenotypes of IBD and PSC, and date and indication of IBD-related surgeries. The primary and secondary endpoints were liver transplantation or death (LTD) and hepatopancreatobiliary malignancy, respectively. Cox proportional hazards models were applied to determine the effects of individual covariates on rates of clinical events, with time-to-event analysis ascertained through Kaplan-Meier estimates. RESULTS: Of the 7121 patients in the cohort, 2616 met the primary endpoint (median time to event of 14.5 years) and 721 developed hepatopancreatobiliary malignancy. The most common malignancy was cholangiocarcinoma (n = 594); patients of advanced age at diagnosis had an increased incidence compared with younger patients (incidence rate: 1.2 per 100 patient-years for patients younger than 20 years old, 6.0 per 100 patient-years for patients 21-30 years old, 9.0 per 100 patient-years for patients 31-40 years old, 14.0 per 100 patient-years for patients 4150 years old, 15.2 per 100 patient-years for patients 51-60 years old, and 21.0 per 100 patient-years for patients older than 60 years). Of all patients with PSC studied, 65.5% were men, 89.8% had classical or large-duct disease, and 70.0% developed IBD at some point. Assessing the development of IBD as a time-dependent covariate, Crohn's disease and no IBD (both vs ulcerative colitis) were associated with a lower risk of LTD (unadjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.62; P