Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D)
We also plan to develop MET409 as a potential first-in-class FXR agonist for GI diseases affecting large patient populations with high unmet needs. IBS-D is a functional GI disease whereby patients experience diarrhea and abdominal discomfort or pain.
IBS-D affects up to an estimated 4% of the adult population in major markets, with an estimated nine million patients in the United States as of 2013.
Prior clinical studies have shown that up to 30% of IBS-D patients have evidence of bile acid malabsorption (BAM), which could account for their symptoms. As one key role of FXR is bile acid regulation, drugs that target FXR could reduce the bile acid pool and, in turn, reduce diarrheal symptoms in IBS-D patients with BAM. As there are several modalities to diagnose BAM, we believe it will be possible to use a precision medicine approach to identify and treat this subset of IBS-D patients.