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Drugs to help elderly with IPF at clinical trials

31st August 2005

Several promising antifibrotic agents are now in phase two and three clinical trials which means they could bring relief to more than 200,000 sufferers of Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to Datamonitor.

IPF is a devastating progressive lethal disease that affects mostly people over 50-years-of-age by shortening their breath, causing rough coughs and chest discomfort.

A report from the market analyst, said previously there were no approved therapies for IPF apart from lung transplantation, but now, novel antifibrotic agents in clinical trials may be able to inhibit the processes that lead to end-stage fibrosis.

Datamonitor respiratory senior analyst Shaun Falkingbridge said: "Novel therapies, which result in improvements in survival by arresting disease progression, will be initiated at diagnosis rather than limited to those patients with advanced disease, similar to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or a malignancy.”

“While there may be a ‘point of no return’ in some patients, it is possible that even in those with advanced disease, a novel drug may still be able to arrest progression, with the market for an a recombinant human TNF-alpha soluble receptor or antibody-based therapy for IPF estimated to be in excess of $2 billion annually,” he said.

If approved for use the drugs will be available by 2009.