News > Press Release OWL presents a new Non-Invasive Diagnostic Solution for Patients at risk of suffering serious liver disease



Press Release OWL presents a new Non-Invasive Diagnostic Solution for Patients at risk of suffering serious liver disease


(Bilbao, Spain, September 17, 2020) The Basque biotechnology company OWL has created a non-invasive diagnostic solution that allows the identification of patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a highly prevalent liver disease in Western countries, who are at higher risk of developing cirrhosis or liver cancer.


The technology named OWLiverF2+ consists in a metabolomics based test which by simply analyzing a blood sample allows the detection of cases with significant fibrosis in patients with NASH, a circumstance that can evolve into more serious liver diseases such as cirrhosis or cancer.


“NASH, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease where together with fat there is inflammation and liver damage has a prevalence of 3% in adults. It is also estimated that 20% of NASH patients develop cirrhosis after 10 years and of these a quarter may suffer from hepatocellular carcinoma. For this reason, achieving an early diagnosis of those patients with a worse prognosis is of key importance to prevent their progression” says Dr. Pablo Ortiz, CSO of OWL.


The solution has a high diagnostic accuracy and offers a very complete information on the status of the fatty liver since it reveals the presence of fat, the presence or not of steatohepatitis and whether the fibrosis is already significant.


Another of its advantages is that it is a non-invasive test for which only a blood extraction is necessary compared to the current standard procedure, the biopsy. In addition, the characteristics of this procedure implies that it can be carried out in short intervals of time and allows to effectively detect the progression of the disease if it occurs.


This technology has been developed thanks to OWL's extensive knowledge in the field of metabolomics and fatty liver which has allowed the development of the OWLiverF2 + system presented as MASEF (Metabolomics-Advanced StEatohepatits Fibrosis Score) score in The Digital ILC 2020.


"The" MASEF score "consists of an algorithm built thanks to the identification of a group of 12 lipids and 3 clinical parameters (Body Mass Index, AST and ALT) which allow us to select patients with significant fibrosis", adds Dr. Ortiz.


This way, OWL solution extracts the metabolites from the blood samples and applies the algorithm to obtain the report with the result for each patient.


“Patients with NASH need close follow-up from specialized units in hospitals. The development of solutions that allow the determination of their status and evolution in a non-invasive way will help doctors to classify patients by their risk-degree as well as improvements in the selection of candidates for clinical trials in the new emerging treatments " adds Dr. Ortiz.


One more step to a complete diagnosis


OWLiverF2 + represents a further step in the trajectory of the Biscay’s firm in the development of non-invasive solutions and is integrated into the OWLiver Diagnostic Panel, a platform formed until now by OWLiverCare, a system that allows the detection of patients with fat accumulation in the liver versus those with normal liver and OWLiver, a test to differentiate people with liver fat from those with NASH (fat plus inflammation and injury).


OWLiverF2 + can be used independently, but its greatest value to the physician and patient lies in the use of the full diagnostic panel.


The test took two years to be developed employing 800 serum samples from relevant international collaborating centers in the field of fatty liver disease.


The results, obtained in a pivotal cohort of 500 patients were presented at The Digital International Liver Congress 2020, leading forum in the field of liver research held between 27 and 29 of August.


The solution is being marketed by Laboratorios Rubió, a company with which OWL maintains a close alliance.


About OWL


OWL is a global metabolomics service provider to the pharma industry with a main focus supporting clinical trials in liver diseases and other prevalent human diseases as well as research in indications where metabolomics plays a key role including drug therapy monitoring and biomarker discovery.


Since its inception in 2002 the Basque company has collaborated with numerous NASH pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and research organizations around the world within the liver field thanks to the creation of its exclusive metabolomic analysis platform. In addition, it participates in the two international consortia (LITMUS) and (NIMBLE) created to find non-invasive and reliable systems to replace liver biopsy in the diagnosis and prognosis of NASH.



For more information


Eider Lazkano - GUK

620 807 344


Miriam Pérez – OWL

688 641 824

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