Canadian pharmaceutical company, Prometic Life Sciences, announced the latest data from their lead candidate, PBI-4050, to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2018 International Conference being held in San Diego, California.

PBI-4050 is a drug with anti-fibrotic properties that is currently in a pivotal phase 2/3 clinical trial to treat IPF patients. And while we wait for those results, data presented that the ATS meeting showed the drug’s impact on certain biomarkers (cytokines and matrix matealloproeteinases) that are linked to fibrosis in IPF patients. More specifically, the study showed that 12 weeks of treatment with PBI-4050 was safe and well tolerated when administed alone or combination with nintedanib or pirfenidone (2 drugs currently approved for IPF). Looking at the biomarker data, PBI-4050 alone or in combination with the other IPF drugs did not alter matrix metalloproteinaseslevels. However, significant increases were observed with several cytokines. For example, PBI-4050 increased the levels of IL-9 by 35% (P< .05); IL-7 by 14% (P< .05); and MIP-1β by 11% (P< .05).In addition, PBI-4050 in combination with nintedanib significantly decreased CCL-18 levels by 10% (P< .01).

In a news release, lead author of the study, Lyne Gagnon, PhD, vice president of R&D preclinical at Prometic  said,”Our evaluation of the effect of PBI-4050 on blood biomarkers linked to the fibrotic process in IPF patients has shown the positive impact the drug candidate has on antifibrotic pathways,” adding,  “These most recent data demonstrated that PBI-4050 was well-tolerated when given alone or in combination with nintedanib or pirfenidone, two marketed IPF treatments. In addition, PBI-4050 given alone, as well as in combination with nintedanib, showed promise in stopping the decline in lung function, something that current treatments have been unable to achieve.”

In a second study, the company’s drug to treat plasminogen deficiency – Ryplaszim (plasminogen) – was shown in a mouse model to reduce fibrosis and fibrotic markers as well. Since plasminogen levels are known to be low in IPF patients, the company may also be looking at developing Ryplaszim to treat IPF.

IPF is a progressive lung disease in which the lungs’ alveoli are gradually replaced by fibrotic tissue that ultimately leads to worsening dyspnea and ultimately death. Most cases occur after the age of 55 years. The 5-year mortality rate for IPF patients with IPF is 50% to 70%.

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