Innovation & Enterprise


UCL spinout announces successful trials of new liver disease therapies

22 January 2021

Yaqrit has announced preliminary results from two clinical trials of potentially transformative therapies for cirrhosis and liver failure. The treatments are based on research by UCL’s Liver Failure Group.

Two scientists working together on a computer in a science lab

The first therapy, Carbalive™, is intended to treat patients with cirrhosis. The trial showed the treatment to be safe and tolerable and patients showed improvements in a range of biomarkers associated with cirrhosis.

The second therapy, Dialive™, is a potential treatment for patients with liver failure for whom there are no specific approved therapies apart from liver transplantation. The trial showed the treatment to be safe and confirmed liver failure patients were likely to see organ failure resolved, and more quickly, than the control group.

Both clinical trials were run by EU-funded academic-industrial consortia composed of partners from eight countries across Europe. These include Yaqrit, UCL, the European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure (EFCLIF), and the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), among others.  

Built on UCL research

Yaqrit was formed with assistance from UCLB, the commercialisation arm of UCL and part of Innovation & Enterprise.

The spinout is built on 20 years of research led by members of UCL’s Liver Failure Group. Professor Rajiv Jalan (UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health) is Yaqrit’s scientific founder. Jalan is the head of UCL’s Liver Failure Group and the inventor of both Carbalive™ and Dialive™. Yaqrit has a pipeline of treatments for each stage of liver disease.

Anne Lane, CEO, UCLB, said: “The development of two life-changing therapies has the potential to have huge real-world impact on the millions of people who suffer from cirrhosis or liver failure. The work of Rajiv and his team is a great example of how university research can be transformed into pioneering technology that helps improve people’s lives. Universities will continue to champion and commercialise progressive research in order to uncover new ways of making positive societal impact.”

Carbalive™ was developed by the CARBALIVE consortium. It's an orally administered, non-absorbable engineered carbon of controlled porosity, intended to treat patients with cirrhosis. This condition affected over 100 million people globally in 2017 and accounts for the deaths of approximately one million patients each year. The microscopic design of the Carbalive™ beads, which adsorb both large and small molecules in the gut, emerged from research into the importance of gut bacteria in the inflammation that accompanies cirrhosis.

Dialive™ was developed by the ALIVER consortium. It's a potential treatment for patients with liver failure. The patented dual filtration system, which can be delivered using a kidney dialysis machine, includes two specialised filters. One filter removes blood-borne products of liver failure, such as products of cell death and bacterial toxins. The other filter removes albumin that's damaged and toxic when the liver fails. The damaged albumin is then replaced with fresh albumin.


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Photo © Alexander Ford