An experimental drug may offer a thin ray of hope to people suffering from the rapidly fatal lung disease known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The compound, currently known only as BIBF 1120 (see structure below : Vargatef™), seems to slow the disease, decrease exacerbations and improve quality of life for patients, according to a study funded by the drug's maker, Boehringer Ingelheim.
"It improves the course of disease and, in my opinion, it's the first drug to significantly ameliorate the really devastating progression of the disease,"
said Dr. Norman Edelman, (chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, who noted that current treatments for the disease "are almost desperation attempts. There's very little evidence they work)..."
Authors don't claim [BIBF 1120] is going to reverse the disease. They claim it's going to slow it down, but even that is a major factor.
Patients with IPF usually die within two to three years of diagnosis. While the disease used to be considered relatively rare, Edelman noted that doctors have been noticing an uptick in recent ears, especially among older men. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) involves a relentless stiffening of the lungs due to overproduction of collagen, the "cement" that holds lung tissue together.