Along with COPD, mortality rates from pulmonary fibrosis have increased significantly, especially in women, and are predicted to continue to rise, according to researchers from the University of Colorado who said, “Results suggest that PF should no longer be considered a rarity. These findings indicate an important and growing problem and provide an argument for more resources focused on research and therapy for this disease.”
Officials are listening. Following the death of his colleague, Congressman Charlie Norwood of Georgia, from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), Congressman Brian Baird has joined Congressman Nathan Deal in introducing H.Con.Res.182 into Congress. The proposed legislation, in part, seeks to recognize “the need to pursue research into the causes, a treatment, and an eventual cure for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.” It also pledges to support the goals and ideals of National IPF Awareness Week, September 22-29, 2007. According to Baird, whose father died as a result of pulmonary fibrosis, the disease is often overlooked. He hopes the passage of this resolution will lead to the aggressive pursuit of research opportunities into the causes of the disease, a treatment, and eventual cure.
Mark Shreve, CEO of the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (www.coalitionforpf.org), says the legislation represents an important step for the IPF cause for several reasons:
- It advocates for patients who suffer from In the past five years, IPF prevalence and incidence has increased 156 percent; yet there remains no FDA approved treatment to combat this deadly disease, and research funding remains unacceptably low.
- It creates the foundation on which all future legislation involving IPF may be
- It defines the challenges facing the IPF community in the Congressional
- It becomes a permanent vehicle for educating Members of Congress.
- It will lead to greater public awareness of IPF.
- It will initiate a dialog in Congress to increase attention and funding given to the deadly disease that kills 40,000 Americans each year, as many as claimed by breast cancer.
In other news, Neopharm, Inc. has entered into an exclusive patent license agreement with the National Institutes of Health for the development of nebulized Cintredekin Besudotox for the treatment of IPF and asthma.
Pre-clinical studies appear to be promising, including preliminary evidence of the reversal of the disease and its scarring in the animal models of IPF.