Saving lives with a new liver dialysis device
New technology could soon revolutionise the treatment of liver failure: an innovative dialysis device is currently being trialled. It aims to greatly improve the outlook for patients, helping them to recover or supporting them while they wait for a transplant, say the EU-funded researchers taking this innovation forward.
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The ALIVER project is conducting clinical trials of Dialive, a dialysis device designed to help tackle acute-on-chronic liver failure cases where the acute condition unfolds on a backdrop of chronic liver disease. The partners involved in this endeavour plan to obtain approval for commercialisation of the device in the EU before the project ends in September 2020.
Liver failure currently claims an estimated 170 000 lives per year in Europe, the partners note, and liver disease is generally on the rise. With Dialive, the ALIVER team specifically targets situations where transplantation is currently the only option and the chances of definitive treatment are therefore dependent on organ availability.
In contrast with existing liver dialysis machines, the partners note, Dialive will restore the function of albumin, a protein that notably plays a role in detoxification. The process is designed to replace impaired albumin with a functional supply and remove toxins that have accumulated in the blood. It is proposed as a way to give the damaged liver a chance to regenerate or, if no such recovery can occur, to help preserve patients lives until they can benefit from an organ donation.
A first clinical trial involving 24 patients is already under way. A second one, for which the partners hope to enrol more than 100 patients, is due to begin in 2018.
The ALIVER consortium, which is led by University College London, also intends to assess the health economic benefits associated with its innovation and develop a reimbursement strategy.
Yaqrit, one of the ALIVER consortium partners, is the licensee of DIALIVE.