NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ICPT), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat chronic liver and intestinal diseases, announced today its support for International Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC) Day, taking place September 14, 2014.
Founded by the UK-based PBC Foundation in 2012, the goal of International PBC Day is to recognize and improve PBC disease awareness and education.
"We are excited to globally unite on this special day with fellow PBC patients, caregivers, our partners and members, to advocate for research, awareness and education," said Collette Thain, M.B.E., founder of The PBC Foundation and a PBC patient.
While PBC is a rare condition, an estimated 90 percent of PBC patients are women, with approximately one in 1,000 women over the age of 40 living with the disease. It represents the second most common cause of liver transplants among women in the United States. The most common symptoms of PBC include fatigue and pruritus, or itching, though many PBC patients may be asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis.
"Intercept is proud to recognize and support International PBC Day as part of our commitment to advancing PBC research, education and treatment," said Mark Pruzanski, M.D., CEO of Intercept. "Although PBC remains a poorly understood disease by the general public and even among many healthcare professionals, the PBC patient community has made tremendous progress over the years in spreading knowledge about the condition and improving early detection."
Intercept is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat orphan and more prevalent liver and intestinal diseases utilizing its expertise in bile acid chemistry. The company's lead product candidate, obeticholic acid (OCA), is a bile acid analog and first-in-class agonist of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR). OCA is being developed for a variety of chronic liver diseases including primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), alcoholic hepatitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). OCA has received orphan drug designation in both the United States and Europe for the treatment of PBC and PSC. Intercept owns worldwide rights to OCA outside of Japan, China and Korea, where it has out-licensed the product candidate to Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. For more information about Intercept, please visit the Company's website at: www.interceptpharma.com.
About Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
PBC is an autoimmune liver disease that may progress to cirrhosis and liver failure, and it is currently the second leading indication for liver transplant among women in the United States. It is primarily a disease of women, afflicting approximately one in 1,000 women over the age of 40. Ursodiol is the only approved drug treatment for PBC and studies have shown that up to 50% of PBC patients fail to respond adequately, thereby remaining at risk of adverse outcomes.
CONTACT: Media inquiries: Chantal Beaudry or Christopher Frates Lazar Partners + 1-212-867-1762 Intercept@lazarpartners.com
Source:Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc.