Espervita Therapeutics is focused on the discovery of metabolic reprogramming therapies for the treatment of cancers in areas with significant unmet medical need, with promising preclinical evidence for the treatment of liver cancer.
Liver cancer is one of the most common and deadly cancers, being the 6th most common new cancer diagnosis and the 4th leading cause of cancer death worldwide.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer, historically was caused by chronic liver injury, inflammation and cirrhosis attributable to alcoholism, toxin exposure (e.g., aflatoxin), or viral hepatitis. However, the global epidemic of obesity complicated by type 2 diabetes is fueling a wave of recalcitrant HCC that develops in the setting of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), with or without cirrhosis.
Because of this shift in etiology, HCC is on a trajectory that requires rapid advancements in treatment to mitigate the impact of this disease on individuals and populations. As opposed to all other common cancers, which have declining mortality rates, HCC is increasingly more difficult to treat and more lethal, and is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the U.S. and the only cancer in North America, South America and Central Europe that is increasing in both incidence and mortality.
In the setting of increasing incidence and mortality, the improvement in survival from currently approved HCC systemic therapies is measured only in months, representing a high-priority unmet medical need for an effective systemic therapeutic.