Treatment with Genentech‘s FDA-approved Esbriet (pirfenidone) has been shown in two independent studies to improve moderate to more severe lung function impairment in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
The results of the studies were recently presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference (ATS 2017) May 19-24 in Washington, D.C.
According to the presentation titled “Effect of Pirfenidone on Breathlessness as Measured by the UCSD-SOBQ Score in Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) with Moderate Lung Function Impairment,” Esbriet can reduce breathlessness in IPF patients with moderate lung function impairment compared to the placebo.
The team found that patients with moderate lung function impairment treated for 12 months with Esbriet had a UCSD-SOBQ (University of California at San Diego Shortness of Breath Questionnaire) score increase of 9.2 compared to 13.0 in the placebo group. The higher the score, the worse the shortness of breath felt by the patient.
The second study presented at ATS 2017 was titled “Effect of Pirfenidone on All-Cause Mortality (ACM) and Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Patients with Low FVC and/or Low DLCO: Analysis of Pooled Data from ASCEND and CAPACITY.”
In this study, researchers assessed information from 170 IPF patients collected from the ASCEND and CAPACITY trials (90 treated with Esbriet and 80 in the placebo group).
The team found that 12 months of Esbriet therapy in patients with low carbon monoxide diffusion capacity and low forced vital capacity (FVC; a measure of lung function) reduced the patients’ risk of all-cause mortality by 72 percent compared to the placebo. These patients also showed a reduction in FVC annual rate decline of 1.9 times compared to placebo-treated patients.
Based on the results, researchers suggested that Esbriet can significantly reduce mortality and delay lung function decline in IPF patients with severe lung function impairment.
Taken together, the positive results of these two independent studies support treatment with Esbriet for IPF symptoms even in patients with more severely impaired lung function.