The NASH Education Program is an international endowment fund created* at the end of 2016 in order to address unmet needs related to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and to increase awareness about this widespread and serious yet poorly understood disease. It is a transversal and non-partisan initiative involving an increasing number of key stakeholders, such as the Global Liver Institute, one of the most respected patient advocacy groups in the United-States.
AN INDEPENDENT ENTITY IN THE NASH FIELD
The NASH Education Program defines and drives both communication and education initiatives with the objective to establish the ground work for a better clinical management of NASH patients. It is an independent entity with its own legal status.
Actions and projects are defined in collaboration with an independent and international scientific committee which has a highly relevant footprint in both hepatic and metabolic diseases, as well as a strong presence in the United States and in Europe. In 2017, it was spearheaded by four of the most prominent key opinion leaders in the world on the subject of NASH.
ANTICIPATING A MASSIVE PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE
NASH is thought to affect around 10% of the adult population in developed countries. It is a severe and widespread metabolic liver disease, yet poorly understood, as most patients present asymptomatically until the disease has progressed to very late stages.
The anticipated surge in NASH prevalence can be attributed in large part to the type 2 diabetic and obesity epidemics expected to grow further in coming decades; for example, in the United States, Mexico and England, the obese population is projected to represent 47%, 39% and 35% of national population by 2030 (OECD, 2017). A 2012 study forecasts a 33% increase in obesity and a 130% increase in severe obesity by 2030 in the United States (Finkelstein et al., 2012).
A COLLABORATIVE FRAMEWORK
Given the tremendous needs related to disease awareness in this new therapeutic area, The NASH Education Program welcomes all key stakeholders who are committed to improving NASH patient care, such as patient associations, academic organizations, and companies involved in life sciences and healthcare.
Initiatives can be funded by benefactors, and/or driven through a coalition of partners combining a complementary set of strengths.
Finkelstein, E.A. et al., Obesity and severe obesity forecasts through 2030. Am J Prev Med, 2012. 42(6): p. 563-70
OECE, Obesity Update 2017. [online] https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Obesity-Update-2017.pdf
* A biopharmaceutical company, GENFIT, dedicated to address patient unmet needs with one of the most advanced therapeutic and diagnostic programs in NASH – and as such ideally positioned to assume social responsibility in this domain – has been at the forefront of launching this global initiative
STEPHEN HARRISON, MD, PHD
Hepatologist, Medical Director of Pinnacle Clinical Research, Texas (Unites States)
Pr Stephen A. Harrison, board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. Pr Harrison served as colonel in the US Army, and retired in 2016 after 20 years of dedicated service to his country. He is known internationally for his research in hepatitis C and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with over 170 publications in these fields. Professor Harrison believes there is a need for a multidisciplinary approach to address all challenges related to NASH.