News & Events

Published On: 9/1/2020

EASL 2020: TARGET-NASH Oral Presentation & Abstract Poster Recap

In August 2020, Target RWE attended the annual Digital International Liver Congress, a virtual conference which replaced the in-person London, UK event in originally scheduled in April. Target RWE was selected to present a poster entitled “Predicting advanced fibrosis using non-invasive clinical tests and modern machine learning methods in TARGET-NASH.” It was presented by Peter Mesenbrink, PhD, Executive Director of Biostatistics from Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

The focus of the talk was on predicting advanced fibrosis (stage 3-4 for Brunt or NAS score) in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) using the individual variables that contribute to either the Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index or NAFLD Fibrosis Score (NFS). Common thresholds for FIB-4 and NFS in the literature often result in either high specificity but low sensitivity, or high sensitivity but low specificity for predicting advanced fibrosis. Several modern prediction methodologies were trained and validated using 859 biopsies in a 3:1 ratio.

Analyzing the individual variables for commonly used non-invasive clinical tests provides a good balance between several performance characteristics for predicting advanced fibrosis, with several of the models exhibiting high sensitivity and specificity. However, this improved performance may come at the expense of less easily interpretable models or may require applications to classify patients using their available data.

The authors also note that the costs of correct and incorrect misclassification should be considered to develop the most useful model in practice. For example, they illustrate that placing greater weight on the correct prediction for advanced fibrosis (versus not) can improve the overall performance characteristics of the models.

An additional TARGET-NASH abstract was also accepted to the Digital International Liver Congress and will be published only, titled “Weight loss and change in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) among patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) receiving standard care in real world clinical practice: TARGET-NASH” (abstract #3748).

You can find this poster on our Publications page, and learn more about TARGET-NASH here.

About Target RWE

Target RWE is a leading health evidence solutions company that generates innovative real-world evidence (RWE) and provides scientific intelligence tools and solutions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other healthcare partners. Specifically designed to address the complexities of the natural history of disease, the drug development process and treatments in real-world settings, Target RWE builds regulatory-grade clinical data sets and applies state of the science epidemiologic methods to produce RWE about patients with specific conditions, symptoms, and therapies used in usual clinical practice.

Target RWE's regulatory-grade data sets and evidence, modern epidemiological methods, and sound scientific principles rendered as software can be utilized to better health outcomes, inform patient health guidelines, and improve overall quality of care. For more information, visit


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