Catlin NR, Bowman CJ, Campion SN, Lewis EM, Nowland WS, Stethem CM, Cappon GD. 2022. The postnatal resolution of developmental toxicity induced by pharmacological DGAT2 inhibition during gestation in rats. J Toxicol Sci 189:225–236.
Ervogastat (PF-06865571) is a small molecule diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) inhibitor being developed for the oral treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with liver fibrosis. DGAT2 is a key enzyme in triglyceride synthesis in tissues and in regulating energy metabolism. Fertility and developmental toxicity studies with ervogastat were conducted in female rats and rabbits. There were no effects on female rat fertility or rabbit embryo-fetal development. Administration of ervogastat to pregnant rats during organogenesis reduced fetal weight and caused higher incidences of bent bones in fetuses that were shown to resolve by postnatal day 28 and were therefore considered to be transient variations secondary to developmental delay. Extended dosing in rats through the end of gestation and lactation (pre- and post-natal development study) caused impaired skin development, reduced offspring viability, and growth retardation. The spectrum of developmental effects in rats is consistent with the intended pharmacology (altered triglyceride metabolism) and the transient nature of the skeletal findings, along with the late gestational window of sensitivity for the effects on skin barrier development, reduce the concern for potential adverse developmental effects following unintended early gestational exposure to ervogastat in humans where treatment can be discontinued once pregnancy is determined.