Circulating biomarkers provide a window into specific metabolic processes. These biomarkers can serve as a surrogate for normal or disease-related physiological activity. In drug development studies, they can show target engagement or disease-modifying activity. Circulating biomarkers might represent the following functional domains:
- Metabolome: Assessing pathway-specific metabolites, such as those that represent disease activity. For example, lipidomic markers that indicate stages of NAFLD or NASH.
- Inflammasome: Biomarkers capturing inflammatory activity levels, which may indicate disease activity or risk of progression.
- Fibrosome: Capturing tissue-specific markers of fibrogenesis and fibrolysis.
- Genome: Genomic biomarkers are increasingly used to enrich clinical study populations for genotypes associated with certain disease phenotypes or target populations.