News Feature | April 22, 2014

Genoa's Inhaled Pirfenidone Shows Potential in Lung Fibrosis

By Estel Grace Masangkay

inhaled pirfenidone

Genoa Pharmaceuticals and collaborators Martin Kolb and Kjetil Ask at McMaster University announced additional measured advantages of inhaled GP-101 (aerosol pirfenidone) in the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The collaborators demonstrated that inhaled pharmacokinetics enabled improved pirfenidone activity with potential to enhance IPF treatment safety and tolerability. Genoa said study results indicated that very small inhaled doses deliver oral-superior but short lived lung levels. Characterization of the mechanism of pirfenidone also suggested that GP-101 inhibited a single, upstream pro-fibrotic target with strong effect on downstream pathways known to play a role in IPF initiation and disease progression.

“Discovery that pirfenidone may inhibit a particular IPF target shown to influence several downstream pathways is important for it may explain some of pirfenidone's effect; showing that inhalation enables improved activity against this important target further justifies this therapeutic approach. We are excited to continue our productive collaboration with Genoa, and with these results enter these activities with an increased enthusiasm for GP-101's potential to positively impact the lives of people with this devastating disease,” said Dr. Martin Kolb, associate professor in the Division of Respirology within the Department of Medicine Pathology & Molecular Medicine at McMaster University.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a rare and serious disease in which the alveoli and the lung tissue next to it become scarred, stiff, and damaged. The disease is characterized by breathlessness, dry cough, finger or toenail clubbing, and fatigue. Patients with IPF are at increased risk of developing chest infections.

Mark Surber, Genoa's president and CEO, said, “These results further support inhalation as the optimal method to administer pirfenidone to achieve maximum IPF efficacy in a safe and well-tolerated medicine. In addition to laying the foundation for successful GP-101 clinical design, these collaborative studies have also expanded our understanding of IPF disease progression and identified a family of additional therapeutic targets.”