Updated on 20 October 2014
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is difficult to treat
Singapore: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals has recieved US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for OFEV (nintedanib) capsules for oral use for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
"While the cause of IPF is unknown and there is no known curative treatment, the unfortunate patients confronted with the disease and physicians caring for patients in the US have been anxiously awaiting FDA-approved treatments," said Dr Ganesh Raghu, professor of Medicine, University of Washington in the division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and Director of Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases at University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle.
"In three clinical trials, nintedanib slowed lung function decline compared to placebo. This approval is a welcome development for patients and caregivers and it provides hope for those who are living with this devastating disease."
In research, Boehringer Ingelheim discovered that nintedanib, a kinase inhibitor, blocks growth factor receptors implicated in IPF - including the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR).
"This approval is a major milestone in IPF with OFEV demonstrating a significant impact on the slowing of lung function decline and a significant reduction in the risk of a first acute exacerbation of IPF over 52 weeks," said Dr Tunde Otulana, a pulmonologist and senior vice president, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Boehringer Ingelheim. "As a research-driven pharmaceutical company, moments like these, when we can bring a treatment option to patients who are very much in need, makes us extremely proud and inspires us to continue our quest for effective therapies to positively impact patients' lives."