NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Jul 10, 2014) - Lazar Partners, a strategic communications firm for companies in the biopharma and medical device space, announced today that it has been named the public relations agency of record for Intercept Pharmaceuticals.

"We are honored to be selected to partner with Intercept at this exciting time in its evolution to maximize awareness of its portfolio of groundbreaking products that address a range of unmet medical needs in GI and hepatology," said Fern Lazar, President and Founder of Lazar Partners.

Intercept is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat orphan and more prevalent liver and intestinal diseases utilizing its expertise in bile acid chemistry. Obeticholic acid is a bile acid analog and first-in-class agonist of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR).

Lazar Partners will leverage its experience in rare diseases, gastroenterology/hepatology and patient-to-patient communications to advance awareness of Intercept's broad portfolio of indications for obeticholic acid including primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other liver and intestinal diseases among key stakeholders. 

PBC is an autoimmune liver disease that may progress to cirrhosis and liver failure, and it is currently the fifth leading indication for liver transplant in the United States. It is primarily a disease of women, afflicting approximately one in 1,000 women over the age of 40. There is only one approved drug treatment for PBC and studies have shown that up to 50% of PBC patients fail to respond adequately, thereby remaining at risk of adverse outcomes.

NASH is a serious chronic liver disease caused by excessive fat accumulation in the liver that induces chronic inflammation which leads to progressive fibrosis (scarring) that can lead to cirrhosis, eventual liver failure and death. According to recent epidemiological studies, it is estimated that approximately 12% of the U.S. adult population has NASH, while 2.7% (potentially more than six million patients) are believed to have advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis due to progression of the disease. Over the next decade the disease is projected to become the leading indication for liver transplant ahead of chronic hepatitis C and alcoholic liver disease. There are currently no drugs approved for the treatment of NASH.

About Lazar Partners

Lazar Partners is a strategic communications consultancy that provides public relations, investor relations and marketing services to help medical device, biotechnology, and specialty pharmaceuticals companies navigate the complex healthcare communications environment. 

Contact Information:

Fern Lazar
President and Founder
Lazar Partners LTD