Ifenprodil Study for IPF Reaches Full Enrollment

In a news release from early February 2022, clinical-stage pharmaceutical development company Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Algernon”) shared that its Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating Ifenprodil (NP-120) was fully enrolled. Within the trial, researchers will evaluate the therapy for patients with chronic cough and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).


So what exactly is Ifenprodil? Initially developed by Sanofi for peripheral circulatory disorders, Algernon is now exploring Ifenprodil as a potential therapy for IPF and chronic cough. This orally administered N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist works by targeting GluN2B. Algernon explains that:

two independent studies [showed] that Ifenprodil outperformed the world’s leading two treatments for IPF, Nintedanib and Pirfenidone, in a recent pre-clinical in vivo animal study, reducing fibrosis by 56% with statistical significance.

Altogether, 20 patients have enrolled within this clinical study. Researchers hope to evaluate the safety, efficacy, and tolerability of the treatment. Additionally, researchers will be looking at how well Ifenprodil protects or maintains lung function.

What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)?

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is pretty aptly named. Idiopathic means of an unknown cause; doctors are not exactly sure what causes this condition. Pulmonary relates to the lungs, while fibrosis refers to scarring or the hardening of scar tissue. So those with this condition experience lung scarring and inflammation without a known cause. Some people theorize that IPF results from genetic mutations and environmental triggers such as cigarette smoking or viral infections, but this has not yet been determined. However, a smaller subset of people have familial pulmonary fibrosis, which occurs when two or more people within the same family have IPF.

As the lungs become increasingly scarred and inflamed, adequate oxygen is unable to enter the bloodstream. As a result, patients develop symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A dry, hacking cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Clubbed fingers and toes
  • Appetite loss
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Increased risk of pulmonary embolisms, pneumonia, and lung cancer
Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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