An investigational drug code named FG-3019 developed by FibroGen Inc. caught headlines recently after FibroGen published results of its recently concluded preliminary Phase-II study. The study was published in the European Respiratory Journal, in an article titled “FG-3019 anti-connective tissue growth factor monoclonal antibody: results of an open-label clinical trial in IPF.”
FG-3019 has not been revealed to be a monoclonal anti-body called Pamrevlumab. Pamrevlumab inhibits the activity of the connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a central mediator in the pathogenesis of fibrosis and a common factor in pathologies that involve progressive fibrosis and excessive scarring, which can result in organ dysfunction and failure. It was hypothesized that pamrevlumab can potentially reverse pulmonary fibrosis.
Results from the Phase II study published showed good safety outcomes and most significantly, 35% of the participants showed improved lung fibrosis after receiving the drug for 48 weeks. Currently, there is no known cure to IPF. There are only two agents, pirfenidone and nintedanib, that can effectively slow down the disease progress. This is the first ever report of improved pulmonary fibrosis in IPF patients in a peer-reviewed journal. The company has already started two larger scale placebo-controlled Phase II study this year in North America. (click here for more information on the ongoing clinical trials for pamrevlumab)