5 Major Lung Disease Developments of 2017

Pulmonary medicine is the branch of medical science that deals with diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases affecting the respiratory system. The conditions included are acute respiratory distress syndrome, sarcoidosis of the lungs, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, occupational lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, lung transplants, and severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The top 5 clinical trials and other developments in lung diseases.

1. Stem Cell Therapy to rescue the patients with Lung Diseases

University of North Carolina Healthcare have studied the use of stem cell for the treatment of lung diseases such as COPD, Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Fibrosis. The director of the university’s lung transplant and interstitial lung disease program, Dr. Jason Lobo, claims that this is the first ever stem cell therapy developed for the treatment of lung fibrosis. The team aims to start the clinical trials with the approval of the regulatory authorities.

Their first study was published in the journal “Respiratory Research”, with the title “Derivation of therapeutic lung spheroid cells from minimally invasive transbronchial pulmonary biopsies.”  And the second study in Stem Cells Translational Medicine, was titled as “Safety and Efficacy of Allogeneic Lung Spheroid Cells in a Mismatched Rat Model of Pulmonary Fibrosis.”

2. $6.9 Million grant for Lung Cell Regeneration from NIH

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has awarded $6.9 million fund to Keck School of Medicine and team at the University of Southern California (USC) to discover how the exchange of gas occurs in the alveoli cells and to understand the recovery process after the injury. This research is expected to provide valuable insights on progression of lung disease and novel innovative therapies for pulmonary fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

3. INOpulse Nitric Oxide System Seen to Treat PH Patients with IPF and COPD Symptoms

Bellerophon Therapeutics has finished its Phase 2 clinical trials of INOpulse nitric oxide delivery system and has obtained positive results showing an increasing blood-vessel volume of pulmonary hypertension patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (PH-IPF). The makers presented their results in American Thoracic Society International Conference on May 2017 with the title, “Unravelling the Mode of Action of Pulsed Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Severe IPF Using Functional Respiratory Imaging (FRI).”

4. Identification and Development of new molecule for the treatment of IPF

In March 2017, the researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center discovered a protein activity called heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) has raised in lung cells of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). They similarly recognized a molecule (17-AAG) that reduced the action of Hsp90 and barred fibrosis in a mouse model. The researchers claim this molecule could be a new candidate for IPF treatment.

5. Updation of guidelines for the diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis

A group of experts updated the guidelines for the better diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis. The new guidelines classify the aid to be used for the diagnosis into three categories, F-causing mutations, mutations of varying clinical consequence, and non-CF-causing or uncharacterized mutations.

Patrick Sosnay, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine states that “The stakes in categorizing a mutation are particularly high. For example, claiming that a mutation 100 percent causes cystic fibrosis may affect people’s reproductive decisions if they believe their child will have the mutation.” He also added that “Therapies exist for individuals with certain mutations. The compilation and availability of all this data can lead to more personalized medicine if people know what mutation(s) they have and seek appropriate care.”

– Rikitha K Murthy
 Market Research Analyst
Infoholic Research