Public Release: 

ALIVER -- an EU funded project to develop a liver dialysis machine revealed at ILC 2017

European Association for the Study of the Liver

April 21, 2017, Amsterdam, The Netherlands: The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) today announced that ALIVER will be unveiled at The International Liver Congress™ in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The €7.8 million project is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research programme. Work started on ALIVER on 1 January 2017 and will end on 30 September 2020.

Background

Each year over 170,000 people die from liver cirrhosis in Europe.1 There are over 1 million deaths globally. 29 million EU citizens and 650 million people globally suffer from a chronic liver disease. The economic burden of liver disease in Europe has been estimated at over €15.8 billion per annum.2

The causes of liver disease are complex, but current rates of obesity and other lifestyle factors will lead to increasing rates of liver failure in coming years. The only treatment that will ensure long term survival and quality of life is a liver transplant. Despite efforts made across Europe to increase organ donation, the number of patients requiring a liver transplant is increasing and supply is not keeping up with demand. There are currently over 1,500 patients on the Eurotransplant waiting list for a new liver,3 and many more in other countries of the EU who are not members of the Eurotransplant network.

The response

The ALIVER Consortium has developed a novel and innovative liver dialysis machine that will help the liver to naturally regenerate or, where that does not prove possible, to keep patients alive and healthy until a donated liver becomes available. DIALIVE has been demonstrated to be effective in pre-clinical tests.

How is DIALIVE different?

DIALIVE removes dysfunctional albumin and endotoxins, infuses fresh, functional albumin and specifically targets systemic inflammation using commercially available CE-marked filters in one unit. Existing liver dialysis machines do not restore albumin function, have only a limited effect on systemic inflammation and do not improve survival rates.

What happens next?

The DIALIVE machine will be tested in clinical settings in the UK, Germany, France and Spain over the course of the project. The ALIVER Consortium believes that DIALIVE will:

  • Significantly improve the prognosis of patients with liver failure by targeting systemic inflammation

  • Reduce mortality rates for patients admitted to hospital with liver failure

  • Allow patients in intensive care to return home with fewer readmissions to hospital

  • In those that don't recover, provide a bridge to transplantation

About the consortium

Two universities, four hospitals, two foundations and four industrial partners will work together to deliver DIALIVE. The consortium members are:

  • University College London

  • Yaqrit Limited

  • Fakkel BVBA

  • European Foundation for the study of chronic liver failure

  • Albutec GMBH

  • European Association for the Study of the Liver

  • Assistance Publique, Hopitaux de Paris

  • Service Madrileno de Salud

  • Universitätsmedizin Rostock

  • IBM Ireland

  • Royal Free Hospital, Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, London

Commenting ahead of the ALIVER meeting taking place at the ILC 2017, Principle Investigator for the Project, Professor Rajiv Jalan, said, "We are delighted to be launching ALIVER here in Amsterdam with EASL. The project brings together scientific excellence in liver disease, clinical practice and industrial partnership, with EU funding. This is the future of medicine and health research and there is no better place to launch ALIVER than here at the EASL ILC."

"Patients with severe liver disease don't have good treatment options today. The DIALIVE technology is the first breakthrough for many years designed to fill that gap in patient care," said Daniel Green, CEO of Yaqrit Ltd, an industrial member of the ALIVER consortium.

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About The International Liver Congress™

This annual congress is the biggest event in the EASL calendar, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Attending specialists present, share, debate and conclude on the latest science and research in hepatology, working to enhance the treatment and management of liver disease in clinical practice. This year, the congress is expected to attract approximately 10,000 delegates from all corners of the globe. The International Liver Congress™ 2017 will take place from April 19 - 23, at the RAI Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

About The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) (http://www.easl.eu)

Since its foundation in 1966, this not-for-profit organisation has grown to over 4,000 members from all over the world, including many of the leading hepatologists in Europe and beyond. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, having evolved into a major European Association with international influence, with an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.

Contact

For more information, please contact the ILC Press Office at:

Email: ILCpressoffice@ruderfinn.co.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)7841 009 252

References

1 Blachier, M et al. The Burden of Liver Disease in Europe, a Review of Available Epidemiological Data. J Hepatology. 2013, 58(3).

2 Lozano R et al. Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012. 380(9859): p. 2095-128.

3 Eurotransplant data base. Available at: http://statistics.eurotransplant.org/index.php?search_type=waiting+list&search_organ=liver&search_region=by+country&search_period=2017. Last accessed 31 March 2017.

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