SDO, UKM to start trial for fatty liver disease treatment

PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby Oils (SDO), the downstream unit of Sime Darby Plantation Bhd announced a collaboration via a memorandum of agreement with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) to begin the world’s first clinical trial to determine tocotrienols which is derived from palm oil could be used as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

“This is potentially a very exciting development for us which if the results are favorable could lead to tocotrienols being prescribed as a medicine for NAFLD, ” SDO’s managing director, Mohd Haris Mohd Arshad said at a press conference after the announcement yesterday.

“Now for the first time we are thinking this can be potentially be used to treat a disease, which is a very different approach to saying that this can be used as a supplement, ” Mohd Haris added.

Tocotrienols is an antioxidant in the vitamin E family which is being sold as a form of health supplement today.

The parties are expecting to see preliminary results within six months from the commencement of the clinical trial this month and a full publication of the findings in 2021.

“We will conduct this through double blind randomised clinical trial which means that it prevents bias as neither the patient nor the clinician will know that they are taking that in these tests, ” UKM’s dean of Faculty of Medicine and Professor of Medicine, Professor Raja Affendi Raja Ali said at the signing ceremony yesterday.

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