Emerging Evidence that the NAFLD Spectrum Improves with Virta Health’s Novel Care Model and Intervention
SAN FRANCISCO, California – February 26, 2019: Virta Health, the first company with a treatment to safely and sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes (T2D) without the use of medications or surgery, today announced the publication of new peer-reviewed research in BMJOpen. This most recent publication found significant improvement in non-invasive scores for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more severe variant, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in patients living with type 2 diabetes who completed one year of the Virta Treatment.
Previous research reports that NAFLD may be present in up to 60% of patients with T2D, and the disease results in an annual $103 billion economic burden in direct medical costs.
There are no drugs on the market to treat NAFLD spectrum diseases, and the only practice guidelines for treatment of the NAFLD spectrum is to lose weight: >5% weight loss is associated with improvement in steatosis, and >7% is necessary for improvement of NASH.
After one year, patients with T2D who received the Virta Treatment exceeded the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) guidelines with 12% average weight loss. 80% of patients lost more than 5% of their starting weight, and 54% achieved weight loss of > 10%. The mean NAFLD liver fat score (N-LFS) declined 60% and NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS) declined 67%. In patients who began the intervention with abnormally high ALT (alanine aminotransferase) liver enzyme levels dropped down to normal levels in 61% by the end of their first year. The usual care group saw no such improvements.
“NAFLD is a silent liver disease because patients often do not experience symptoms until it has progressed to NASH, cirrhosis or liver failure,” said Dr. Naga Chalasani, the David W. Crabb Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at Indiana University School of Medicine, the study’s senior author. “Because there are no approved pharmacological interventions for NASH and diagnosing the coexistence of NAFLD is rarely pursued in the standard treatment approach for T2D, it is encouraging to see the Virta’s Treatment effect on this common comorbidity.”
In addition to lowering their BMI, liver enzymes, and non-invasive NAFLD scores, 60% of Virta trial patients who completed one year of the treatment were able to reverse their diabetes by achieving an HbA1c below the threshold for type 2 diabetes diagnosis without the use of medications other than metformin. These Virta trial patients also experienced significant improvement in 22 of 26 cardiovascular disease risk factors at one year of treatment. Because T2D, cardiovascular disease, NAFLD, obesity and inflammation create nearly $1 trillion in yearly economic burden for the U.S., results from the Virta Treatment provide excitement for reversing these trends.
“The Virta Treatment is one of the most effective therapies available today for patients living with NAFLD — a $100B problem in the US with no known drug to treat it — in conjunction with T2D,” said Sami Inkinen, Virta Health co-founder and CEO. “These latest peer-reviewed results further demonstrate the advantages of our approach to type 2 diabetes reversal: we simultaneously improve multiple markers of chronic disease, ranging from NAFLD to hypertension, inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk factors, all while safely reducing, rather than adding to, a person’s prescription medications.”
For more information on the benefits of the Virta Treatment and to view the full paper, please visit www.virtahealth.com.
About Virta Health
Virta Health provides the first treatment to safely and sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery. Among enrolled patients in our clinical trial at one year, 60% achieved diabetes reversal and 94% of insulin users reduced or eliminated usage altogether. Results extend beyond diabetes reversal to other areas of metabolic and cardiovascular health, with sustained improvements in blood pressure, inflammation, liver function, and BMI. For enterprises, Virta puts 100% of its fees at risk and can reduce medical prescription costs by more than 70% in year 1 alone. Delivered through Virta’s novel continuous remote care platform, the Virta Treatment provides unparalleled medical and behavioral support and is transforming the lives of people living with type 2 diabetes. To learn more, visit www.virtahealth.com or follow us on Twitter @virtahealth.