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Liver disease MASH is next target for obesity drugs in development

As drugmakers race to join the obesity drug market ignited by the approval of Wegovy and Zepbound, they’re not just competing on their drugs’ weight loss effects. They’re also competing on their products’ ability to treat a severe form of liver disease.

A new update of the STAT Obesity Drug Tracker shows that at least 23 — about one-fifth — of the 105 obesity treatments in development or on the market are also being investigated for metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis, the fatty liver disease known as MASH (and previously called NASH).

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In this update, STAT has added a category — “other diseases investigated” — to show conditions beyond obesity for which a compound is being studied. Type 2 diabetes is the most common – it’s long been linked to obesity, and the latest GLP-1 treatments like Wegovy and Zepbound were initially developed as diabetes drugs. But behind diabetes, the next most common disease under investigation for obesity candidates is MASH.

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