FG-3019 (Pamrevlumab) to show reversal of pulmonary fibrosis in Phase-II study

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.” Continue reading

Study shows statins can improve IPF patient outcomes

The study “Effect of statins on disease-related outcomes in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis,” was recently published in the journal Thorax. The researchers in this study compiled patient outcome data from all of the previous 3 major clinical trials on pirfenidone, the two CAPACITY trials and the ASCEND trial.

The combined patient data was analyzed based on those patients who were taking statin drugs during the clinical trials and patients who were not taking statin drugs. Among all the patients, 276 (44%) patients were statin users and 348 (56%) did not use statins. Both groups had similar characteristics at baseline, but the statin users were on average older and had higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Continue reading

Esbriet (pirfenidone) found to reduce IPF progression in all disease stages

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. Continue reading

What are the most effective therapies for pulmonary fibrosis?

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating condition where the lung tissues progressively thickens and turn into scar tissues leading to breathlessness and ultimately respiratory failure and death. The treatment for IPF has changed drastically over the past few years. Traditionally, IPF were treated with high doses of corticosteroids in combination with other medications to suppress the immune system. New medications, pirfenidone and nintedanib, have made it possible to slow down the progression of the condition. Other supplemental agents such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has often been used as an adjunct therapy in pulmonary fibrosis. We often get asked about what the effectiveness of different therapies in pulmonary fibrosis. Continue reading