A report on newsmedical.net details a major grant awarded for the research of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The grant totals $8.9 million, aiming to fund a program for several years. Research funded by the National Institutes of Health grant is set to take place at The University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham. Keep reading to learn more, follow the original story here for more information.
What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a condition in which lung tissue hardens inside the body without an apparent cause. This prevents the necessary amount of oxygen from reaching the bloodstream. Worldwide, IPF is estimated to affect 13-20 out of every 100,000 people.
Though the cause is unknown, some triggers for IPF seem to be viral infections, smoking cigarettes, and the inhalation of dust, meal, or wood particles. Common symptoms include shortness of breath, and persistent dry, hacking cough. People living with IPF may also experience gastrointestinal complications such as GERD, and clubbing of the fingers and toes.
Experts chose UAB for a reason. A highly competitive group of institutions vied for the grant, but ultimately UAB was selected for its ability to test possible treatments across all stages of development. UAB possesses one of the largest interstitial lung disease programs in the entire US.
One of the treatments being worked on at UAB is a drug known as GKT831. Though no treatment for IPF currently exists, it is thought that GKT831 may be able to improve on some areas lacking in other candidates. Specifically experts predict GKT831 may be better tolerated.
The phase II clinical trial for GKT831 will consists of 60 patients and last 48 weeks. The trial will be placebo controlled under a double blind, randomized selection. By the end of the trial researchers hope to evaluate both the safety and effectiveness of the new treatment.
Recruiting for GKT831 trials is expected to begin in April of 2019 with UAB as the primary center. Other institutions such as University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Temple University, and Tulane University will be participating as well.