A retooled version of the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) drug FGF21, known as BMS-986036, showed promise in a recent Phase II trial, MedPage Today reports.

The Phase II trial included 74 people with NASH and mild to advanced fibrosis of the liver who received 16 weeks of one of three subcutaneous (injected under the skin) doses: a 10 milligram dose of BMS-986036 given every day, a 20 mg dose given every week, or a placebo given every day.

Findings were presented at the 52nd International Liver Congress in Amsterdam.

Those who received the daily and weekly doses experienced a respective 6.8 percent and 5.2 percent average absolute reduction in liver fat fraction, compared with a 1.3 percent reduction among those receiving the placebo.

BMS-986036 outperformed the placebo in changes of indicators of fibrosis, metabolic parameters and liver injury.

The drug was apparently safe and well tolerated. No participants experienced serious treatment-related adverse health events, no one died, and no one stopped treatment because of adverse health events.

To read the MedPage Today article, click here.

To read a press release about the study, click here.