The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have granted the University of Alabama at Birmingham $8.9 million to fund research into an investigational drug for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. You can read the source article here, on UAB’s website.
About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a lung condition that can cause scarring and breathing difficulties. Typically, but not always, it affects people over the age of 50, and usually around the age of 70 to 75. According to the NHS, symptoms of IPF may include persistent dry coughing, shortness of breath, tiredness, weight loss, and clubbed fingers. IPF is caused by alveoli (tiny air sacs) in the lungs becoming damaged and scarred, which over time can make the lungs stiff and inefficient at transporting oxygen into the bloodstream.
There is not currently a cure or way to reverse IPF, but some treatments can help to slow down the condition’s progression and alleviate certain symptoms.
Research into New Treatments
Scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are investigating a drug called GKT831 as a potential treatment for IPF in the future, with hopes that it could provide more benefits than some existing drugs. Dr Thannickal from UAB, who has spent much of his career working on IPF, says that although the researchers don’t know if this drug will be the answer to treating IPF, “we think it has more promise than what is already out there.”
The NIH’s grant of $8.9 million will fund a program that involves a multi-year phase 2 clinical trial of GKT831 to investigate its safety and effectiveness in patients. The study will compare the experimental drug to a placebo in a double-blind and randomised design. Researchers hope to recruit sixty patients for the trial, which will take place over a period of 48 weeks. Recruitment for the clinical trial is expected to open in April 2019.
For more information about this grant, you can view the original article about it here.