PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is a leading cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality with a remarkable paucity of effective therapeutics. This application represents a coordinated submission of several NIAAA-funded consortia that have come together as the Alcoholic Hepatitis Network (AlcHepNet). Collectively, the network will synergize efforts and expertise to better understand AH and develop novel effective and safe therapies for severe AH. Buttressing that goal, the overarching aims of this new consortium are to: 1) perform studies to better understand the pathogenesis and main determinants of outcomes, particularly in severe AH; 2) identify novel targets for therapy of AH, and 3) perform phase 2B studies of compounds that are already FDA approved and available and can be repurposed as safe and effective therapies for severe AH. Under the umbrella of these larger aims, the aims of this AlcHepNet proposal are to: Aim 1. Conduct a prospective, multicenter, observational study of patients with AH and suitable controls that serves as the foundation for conducting novel mechanistic and therapeutic studies. We will consolidate and extend our longitudinal database containing 1) clinical and laboratory information and 2) bio-sample repository from subjects with AH of varying severity and matched controls. This database will serve three functions: (a) provide unique information on the outcomes and pathobiology of AH, (b) support translational research designed to identify novel targets for treatment, and (c) serve as a catalyst to develop systems biology-based, informatics- integrated databases that will serve as a resource for all researchers interested in AH; Aim 2. Perform a multicenter, prospective, randomized phase 2B clinical trial of granulocyte colony stimulating factor G- CSF versus Anakinra (plus zinc) versus standard medical therapy with Prednisone in patients with severe AH. This aim will test the hypothesis that both active treatment arms with G-CSF and the IL-1 receptor antagonist Anakinra (plus zinc) are superior to the standard of care (i.e. Prednisone) in patients with severe AH. The choice of these agents is based on: 1) literature demonstrating a role for inflammation and inflammasome activation in severe AH, 2) several pilot studies demonstrating therapeutic benefit with G-CSF, and 3) interim analysis of an ongoing trial suggesting a mortality benefit with Anakinra in patients with AH. This phase 2B efficacy trial will be conducted across nine clinical centers and coordinated by two Data Coordinating Centers (DCCs). The primary endpoint will be mortality at Day 90. The investigators and the AlcHepNet are uniquely positioned to perform the proposed study given the substantial breadth, depth, and history of expertise related to AH, clinical trial conduct, and related therapeutic development. By testing promising therapies for AH and collecting well-annotated patient samples and datasets, this proposal will have a strong and lasting impact on the field.
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