Cenicriviroc for the treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis

Frank Tacke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Introduction: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has an increasing prevalence worldwide. At present, no specific pharmacotherapy is approved for NAFLD. Simple steatosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can progress to liver fibrosis that is associated with mortality in NAFLD. The recruitment of inflammatory monocytes and macrophages via chemokine receptor CCR2 as well as of lymphocytes and hepatic stellate cells via CCR5 promote the progression of NASH to fibrosis. Areas covered: I summarize preclinical and clinical data on the efficacy and safety of the dual CCR2/CCR5 inhibitor cenicriviroc (CVC, also TBR-652 or TAK-652) for the treatment of NASH and fibrosis. In animal models of liver diseases, CVC potently inhibits macrophage accumulation in the liver and ameliorates fibrosis. In a phase 2b clinical trial (CENTAUR) on 289 patients with NASH and fibrosis, CVC consistently demonstrated liver fibrosis improvement after 1 year of therapy and had an excellent safety profile, leading to the implementation of a phase 3 trial (AURORA). Expert opinion: Preclinical and clinical data support the development of CVC as a safe and potent antifibrotic agent. However, open questions around CVC are the durability of antifibrotic responses, divergent effects on NASH versus fibrosis, potential long-term concerns and the expected path to approval.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Opinion on Investigational Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • NASH
  • cenicriviroc
  • liver fibrosis
  • macrophage
  • monocyte


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