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New Treatments for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Help Breathing — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 19, 2014

New Treatments for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Help Breathing

By Kelly Young

Potential new treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis helped lung function in two trials, leading an editorialist to call the results, "a major breakthrough." The studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting.

In INPULSIS 1 and 2, over 1000 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were randomized to nintedanib, an intracellular inhibitor targeting several tyrosine kinases, or placebo twice daily. At 1 year, patients taking nintedanib had less decline in forced vital capacity (FVC), compared with patients taking placebo (difference of about 100 mL).

In ASCEND, nearly 600 patients with mild-to-moderate disease were randomized to daily oral pirfenidone, an antifibrotic treatment, or placebo. At 1 year, more patients in the placebo group than the pirfenidone group had reached the primary endpoint of mortality or 10% decline in percentage of predicted FVC (32% vs. 17%).

An editorialist says that results mean that "the game has now changed." However, he says it's still unclear whether these treatments would effectively treat severe disease or whether they would continue to work longer term.

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