Direct Thrombin Inhibitors for Diet-Induced Obesity and Fatty Liver Disease


Executive Summary


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD) affects approximately 20% of US adults and nearly 75% of obese adults. As NALFD becomes more severe, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) develops, which can lead to liver failure. The only ways to treat these diseases are through weight loss, or in extreme cases, liver transplants. Researchers at Michigan State University developed a drug treatment to prevent the development and progression of NALFD/NASH in these patients.


Description of Technology


This NALFD/NASH therapy is achieved using an FDA approved anticoagulant. This drug inhibits the acidity of thrombin, which has been shown to be increased in patients with NALFD. MSU researchers demonstrated that mice fed a high-fat diet while being treated with the anticoagulant significantly reduced morphological and cellular signs of hepatic steatosis. This treatment could be used in the clinic to combat NALFD in obese patients.


Key Benefits

  • Obesity prevention
  • NAFLD prevention
  • Health benefits – the prevention of obesity has significant direct and indirect health benefits
  • Reduces patient healthcare costs – this is by preventing obesity and NAFLD, which have both direct and indirect health repercussions that require costly medical intervention



  • Obesity treatment/prevention
  • NAFLD treatment/prevention


Patent Status: 


Under review.


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available.


Inventors: James P. Luyendyk


Tech ID: TEC2014-0047


Alternative contact due to temporary leave:


Nina (Isi) Davis, Technology Marketing Manager, email:, phone (direct): (517)884-1829. 


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Randy Ramharack
Technology Manager
Michigan State University
James Luyendyk