Antifibrotic Therapies: Where Are We Now?

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Fibrosis is the wound-healing response of tissues to injury. Extensive characterization of organ fibrosis mechanisms has identified common core pathways in renal, pulmonary, skin, and liver fibrosis that offer novel antifibrotic approaches across tissues, in addition to organ-specific and/or disease-specific pathways. A growing number of small molecules and biologics have been identified that are reaching clinical trials for one or more fibrotic diseases, making new antifibrotic options for liver fibrosis an emerging reality. The accelerating pace of drug development, which will also include drug repurposing or combination therapies, heightens the need for novel methods for noninvasive fibrosis assessment without liver biopsy, which is critical to establishing surrogate endpoints for patients in clinical trials who have a low risk of hepatic decompensation. In this article the authors review mechanisms of liver fibrosis and outline potential therapeutic targets and antifibrotic therapies in preclinical studies and clinical trials.

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