Researchers in separate clinical trials found two drugs slow the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a fatal lung disease with no effective treatment or cure, and for which there is currently no therapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Paul W. Noble, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai and director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute, is the senior author of the multicenter study that found that the investigational drug pirfenidone significantly slowed the loss of lung function and reduced the risk of death. Pirfenidone was developed by InterMune Inc. and in 2011 was approved by the European Union for the treatment of idiopa Studies Published In New England Journal Of Medicine Identify Promising Drug Therapies For Fatal Lung Disease thic pulmonary fibrosis.
The findings of the ASCEND drug trial are published online by the New England Journal of Medicine and are being presented this week at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego. "What we discovered about the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic properties of pirfenidone offers help and encouragement to so many patients suffering from this relentless disease that robs them of breath and life," said Noble.