When pirfenidone (Esbriet) was first approved for IPF, there was some concern initially that pirfenidone may be best suited for patients with mild to moderate disease. A new study, “Efficacy of pirfenidone in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis with more preserved lung function,” was published in the European Respiratory Journal in 2016.
The study compiled outcome data from all three of the major pirfenidone Phase-III trials. The researchers re-analyzed the pooled data by stratifying patients based on their base-line lung function at the start of these clinical trials and compared the outcomes between patients with mild and more severe IPF at the beginning of these trials. Results from the study showed that the effectiveness of pirfenidone was independent of the patient having a more preserved or less preserved lung function at baseline. The researchers concluded that “These findings support the initiation of treatment with pirfenidone, irrespective of stage of baseline lung function in this patient population.” This gives us more confidence that pirfenidone is similarly effective in moderate to severe IPF stages and should be used in all patients with IPF.
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