29 June 2023

Medical treatment of fatty liver may be possible thanks to omega-3 fatty acid nanoparticles

Pharma Research

Non-alcoholic fatty liver is a widespread disease because of the common occurrences of obesity and type-2 diabetes in Europe, particularly in Denmark.

Associate Professor Anan Yaghmur
Associate Professor Anan Yaghmur.

So far, a medical treatment of the disease has not been possible, but a new research project headed by Associate Professor Anan Yaghmur will now seek a new solution to this problem. The title of the project is “OMEGA: Versatile OMEGA-3 fatty acid nanocarriers targeting hepatic stellate cells” and it was recently funded by DFF with DKK 6.1 mill. The project will financially support PhD student and postdoc.

During this project, Anan Yaghmur and the co-applicants will design nanoparticles that will secure an efficient transport of drugs

to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Today, a reliable medical treatment is non-existing and long-term lifestyle changes for patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity will not solve their present fatty liver problems. However, several research investigations, both pre-clinical and clinical studies, have lately shown that omega-3 fatty acids have very beneficial effects as a would-be treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

The project will introduce simple-by-design platforms for targeting hepatic stellate cells and delivery of omega-3 fatty acids in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs. The researchers will focus on the development and optimization of safe surface engineered cubosomal/hexosomal nanocarriers for targeting hepatic stellate cells following intravenous administration.

The research project is interdisciplinary and Anan Yaghmur applies innovative nanoparticle techniques, and furthermore the project will pave the way for a completely new design of nanodrugs targeting stellate cells in the liver for a new medical treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Article by Communications Officer Lisbeth Lassen