13 March 2020 | News
New study will generate insights in the development and progression of the disease in Asia, which could support the development of effective diagnostics and therapies
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s (A*STAR’s) Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), and the National University of Singapore (NUS)’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (NUS Medicine) have entered a strategic research collaboration with global healthcare company Novo Nordisk, to enhance the understanding of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and its more severe form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
The study aims to discover new molecular hallmarks and biomarkers of the disease specific to Asian populations, which could lead to the development of effective treatment strategies.
The research collaboration will contribute to the understanding of a Singaporean- and Asian-centric NAFLD as part of a national research platform named Ensemble of Multi-disciplinary Systems and Integrated Omics for NAFLD (EMULSION).
As co-hosts of EMULSION, GIS and NUS Medicine will unite global industry and academic research efforts to build an Asian-centric NAFLD database. These efforts will build upon the contributions by physicians at the NAFLD clinics in Singapore hospitals, as well as GIS and NUS Medicine scientists.
Also contributing to this database are MedTech imaging companies HistoIndex, an A*STAR spin-off that provides an automated and accurate quantification of NAFLD/NASH characteristics in liver biopsies with its AI-based stain-free digital pathology platform; and Perspectum Diagnostics, a spin-off from Oxford University that has developed LiverMultiScan — a non-invasive MR imaging test to help identify NASH patients.
Image Caption- From left: Prof Ng Huck Hui (Co-Principal Investigator of this research programme and Assistant Chief Executive of A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council), Prof Patrick Tan (Executive Director of GIS), Dr Karin Conde-Knape (Corporate Vice President at Novo Nordisk), Dr Ivan Formentini (Vice President at Novo Nordisk), and Assoc Prof Dan Yock Young (Co-Principal Investigator of this research and Head of the Department of Medicine at NUS Medicine). Photo taken at the EMULSION-Novo Nordisk Asian Biomarker Laboratory (ENABL). (Copyright: A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore)