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Escient Pharmaceuticals Initiates Phase 2 PACIFIC Study Evaluating EP547, An Oral MRGPRX4 Antagonist, in Subjects with Cholestatic Pruritus

Excerpt from the Press Release:

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Escient Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage company advancing novel small molecule therapeutics for the potential treatment of a broad range of neurosensory-inflammatory disorders, today announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical study of EP547 in subjects with cholestatic pruritus.

EP547 is a highly selective antagonist of MRGPRX4, a cell surface receptor expressed on sensory neurons that is activated by bile acids, bilirubin and other heme metabolites and thought to be a key mediator of the often intense itch experienced by patients with cholestatic liver disease.

The Phase 2 study, PACIFIC, is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study designed to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of EP547 in subjects with cholestatic pruritus due to primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) or primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).

“Intense, unrelenting itch is a common and often debilitating symptom for people living with PBC, PSC and other cholestatic liver diseases. There remains a large unmet need for safe and more efficacious treatments,” said Gideon Hirschfield, FRCP, PhD, Chair in Autoimmune Liver Disease Research, Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Toronto, and a lead investigator of the PACIFIC study.

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