Therapeutic targets and early stage clinical trials for pulmonary fibrosis
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INTRODUCTION: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an age-associated, progressive, and irreversible fatal interstitial lung disease. Although many drugs have failed in clinical trials, these failures improved the understanding of the pathogenesis of IPF. Currently, there are two drugs approved for IPF that slow the progression of the disease. However, the prognosis for patients with IPF remains poor and the search continues for drugs that inhibit the pathogenic pathways active in IPF to further reduce or even halt the progression of the disease. AREAS COVERED: We highlight the recent information on the therapeutic targets currently explored in early stage clinical trials and discuss the potential for new therapy and the limitation of basic research in the treatment of IPF. EXPERT OPINION: A key challenge in the coming years will lie in deciding which compounds to combine and how to evaluate combination therapies in clinical trials. The drugs most likely to provide additive efficacy when used in combination with one of the approved therapies are those with alternative, complementary, or synergistic mechanisms of action.
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