Monday, July 18, 2016

Some Potential NASH Plays


NASH is a liver disease that continues to impact increasing amounts of individuals as the developed world develops more and more obesity.

It is also a prime target for biotech and pharma firms as this disease area could yield the next blockbuster franchise for whoever develops an effective treatment.

Below, we provide an overview of NASH, a quick rundown of the various firms targeting the area, and some possible investment winners in the space.

I am getting an increasing amount of questions on the liver disease NASH in recent weeks. This is logical given the rising incidence of this affliction, the increasing amount of biotech concerns pursuing a cure or a treatment for this disease, and the large and growing addressable market for any NASH treatment. Given this, I decided to put together a short investment primer on this potentially lucrative area of the biotech market. We will give a brief description of this liver disease, discuss some of the main players trying to develop treatments for NASH, and maybe offer up an investment idea or two.

NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis): Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease. NASH occurs in a subset of those individuals with NAFLD. The prevalence of NAFLD is affected by many factors, including genetics and environment. In general, the risk of liver disease increases with the patient's body mass. Based on the available data, NAFLD is estimated to occur in one-third of the general population in the US. The prevalence of NASH is more difficult to determine. It seems to occur in approximately 3% of the US population, but may be found in more than 25% of obese persons.

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