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About them

Galectin Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on discovery and development. They apply leadership in galectin science and drug development to create new therapies to improve the lives of patients with chronic liver and skin diseases and cancer. Drug candidates based on their unique carbohydrate technology target galectin proteins, which are key mediators of biologic and pathologic function.

Galectin Therapeutics leverages extensive scientific and development expertise as well as established relationships with outside sources to achieve cost-effective and efficient development.

Galectin Therapeutics is pursuing therapies for indications in which galectins have a demonstrated role in the pathogenesis of directly involved in multiple inflammatory, fibrotic, and malignant diseases. They focus on diseases with serious, life-threatening consequences to patients and where current treatment options are limited.

The drug of interest to the NASH community is Belapectin which is aimed at reducing the incidence of portal hypertension in advanced cirrhosis.

Belapectin: Targeting Galectin-3

Belapectin (GR-MD-02) is a proprietary galactoarabino-rhamnogalacturonan polysaccharide polymer comprising galacturonic acid, galactose, arabinose, rhamnose and smaller amounts of other sugars. Structural studies have shown that belapectin binds to galectin-1 and galectin-3, with greater binding affinity to galectin-3. Belapectin targets extracellular galectins.

Key features include:

  • A Phase 2 clinical trial of belapectin in NASH cirrhosis was the first large, randomized clinical trial of any drug to demonstrate a clinically meaningful improvement in portal hypertension or liver biopsy in patients with NASH cirrhosis without varices.

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The NAVIGATE clinical trial is the Phase 2b/3 study clinically focused on NASH cirrhosis, for which there are no approved therapies short of a liver transplant. The NAVIGATE Study seeks to change this, offering patients and their families the first potential therapy targeted specifically at NASH cirrhosis.

A previous clinical trial showed belapectin may prevent the development of esophageal varices in patients with compensated NASH cirrhosis. Varices are an early sign for the development of serious complications in NASH cirrhosis. Approximately 50% of cirrhotic NASH patients with portal hypertension do not have varices when first diagnosed.

To be part of the NAVIGATE Study, you must have a confirmed diagnosis of NASH cirrhosis with no evidence of esophageal varices.