Echosens and Novo Nordisk partner on NASH diagnosis tech

USA – Echosens and Novo Nordisk have teamed up to enhance the diagnostic rate for advanced to severe NASH by 2025, which will allow both companies to continue developing their diagnostic and therapeutic offerings for the disease.

The partnership aims to advance early diagnosis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and increase awareness of the disease among patients, healthcare providers and other stakeholders.

NASH is a chronic metabolic liver disease that affects more than 115 million people worldwide according to a press release by the companies.

The condition is caused by build-up of fat and inflammation in the liver. This causes progressive damage to the liver and can lead to end-stage liver disease and death.

NASH is often underdiagnosed due to lack of symptoms in the early stages and, as a result, it is estimated that nine out of 10 people living with NASH go undiagnosed.


That severe under-diagnosis can be attributed to a variety of reasons. For one, many people experience no noticeable symptoms in the early stages of the disease, and a lack of familiarity with the disease can prevent them from linking any symptoms they do experience to NASH.

For another, diagnosis typically relies on liver biopsies, which are invasive and not always accurate and can be risky to patients.

Noninvasive alternatives are beginning to become more accessible, however, and Echosens, the developer of one such offering, is on a quest to use its technology to vastly increase NASH screening.

Echosens and Novo Nordisk will collaborate to expand clinical and real-world evidence to support Echosens' FibroScan system as a viable option for NASH diagnosis and monitoring.

The latest leg of that journey ropes in Novo Nordisk, with the pair joining forces to increase both awareness of the disease and its diagnostic rate throughout the next few years.

To significantly increase early diagnosis, broadly accepted non-invasive tests for diagnosing people living with NASH are needed, as confirmatory diagnosis currently relies on an invasive procedure known as a liver biopsy.

Echosens and Novo Nordisk will collaborate to expand clinical and real-world evidence to support Echosens’ FibroScan system as a viable option for NASH diagnosis and monitoring.

In doing so, they hope to significantly increase global adoption of noninvasive screening methods for the disease developed by Echosens and others.

Furthermore, the duo intends to launch an educational campaign to raise awareness about NASH and the benefits of diagnosing and treating the condition as early as possible.

Echosens’ FibroScan is a standalone device that healthcare providers can use to perform noninvasive liver scans, offering a faster and simpler alternative to invasive biopsies for liver disease diagnosis.

The system specifically calculates liver stiffness and steatosis, a measurement of fat buildup.

The French company has also created a trio of additional scoring tools that use FibroScan analyses, as well as clinical and laboratory data, to measure several other biomarkers associated with NASH.

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