About Liver Disease

Striving to Improve Healthcare Outcomes for Liver and Other Chronic Diseases

Liver health.

We are pioneering innovative medicines to restore health and improve patients’ lives. By understanding the underlying mechanisms of disease, we’re identifying the root causes of disease progression.

Today, chronic liver disease is on the rise around the world. And it can lead to serious liver damage, including inflammation, scarring (fibrosis), cancer, liver failure, and even death.

For patients with PBC, everyday symptoms can become unbearable. It’s an itch that cannot be resolved by scratching, and fatigue that drains patients of their energy – compounded by a lack of a good night’s sleep.

Liver Disease at a Glance


Most common cause of death globally

2 Million

Deaths per year worldwide

1 Million

Deaths per year due to liver cirrhosis


Types of liver diseases


Source: European Association for the Study of the Liver

Understanding Liver Disease

The liver plays a central role in a myriad of vital functions for the body, including the removal of toxic substances, energy metabolism, the synthesis of numerous proteins required for the blood, and the production of bile, an essential fluid that helps digest nutrients and carry away waste.

Many genetic and autoimmune liver diseases are intractable, with no or limited therapies available. Cholestatic autoimmune liver diseases, such as primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and primary sclerosis cholangitis (PSC), are diseases characterized by progressive destruction of the biliary drainage system of the liver with accumulation of toxic bile acids, inflammation, and extensive scarring (fibrosis and cirrhosis). The effects of PBC and PSC can ultimately lead to liver failure, the need for a liver transplant and premature death.

Understanding the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of these diseases provides the opportunity to address the multiple pathways that impact the body, such as reducing toxic bile acid levels, inhibiting inflammation, and attenuating or even reversing fibrosis. By understanding the connections of the disease to the symptoms, CymaBay can offer new, different approaches to alleviate both patient symptom burden and burden of disease offering tremendous benefits for patients, their families, and the healthcare system.

Seeking Innovative Solutions for PBC

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is the initial indication for our lead drug candidate, seladelpar. PBC is an autoimmune liver disease that destroys the small bile ducts (ductopenia). Degeneration and subsequent loss of bile ducts reduces the excretion of bile (cholestasis), a condition that can be detected with simple blood tests. As PBC progresses, tissue damage (inflammation and fibrosis) may be detected by liver biochemistries and with diagnostic imaging.

Patients living with PBC commonly have fatigue and debilitating itching (pruritus). In later stages, they can be at risk for serious liver-related complications, including liver failure, liver transplant, or death. Current treatments have limitations including an inadequate reduction in liver biochemistries, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and bilirubin, which have demonstrated a significant risk for disease progression and lack of effectiveness on PBC symptoms.

Seladelpar is a first-in-class oral, selective delpar, or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-delta (PPARδ) agonist. PPARδ regulates pathways impacting cholestasis and tissue damage. In clinical trials in patients with PBC, treatment with seladelpar led to improved liver biochemistry measures and liver function tests related to cholestasis and liver damage, and reduced itching.

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