Exhale

The official blog of the Lung Institute.

FDA Fast-tracks 2 New Medications to Treat Pulmonary Fibrosis

10 Jul 2015
| Under Lung Disease | Posted by | 2 Comments

Ofev and Esbriet

Two medications, Ofev and Esbriet, were recently fast-tracked for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disease typically caused by occupational and environmental factors, a response from medications, autoimmune disorders, infections, genetics and other unknown factors. IPF refers to pulmonary fibrosis with no known cause. Smoking is known to exacerbate this condition. Until recently, this disease was considered untreatable. However, today, these new medications combined with stem cell therapy allow IPF sufferers a new lease on life.

Both Ofev (nintedanib) and Esbriet (pirfenidone) help prevent further lung tissue scarring, and a study showed that the medication allowed patients to exhale significantly more breath than those who were given a placebo. The most common side effects of Ofev and Esbriet include nausea, coughing, diarrhea and high blood pressure. Neither drug is recommended for those who suffer from liver conditions.

Looking Ahead

These drugs effectively slow the progression of IPF, therefore helping to bridge the gap between now and a future cure. Patients who were previously given a death sentence now have the opportunity to extend their lives, hopefully long enough to see a cure. Used in conjunction with stem cell therapy, these drugs allow IPF sufferers the freedom to explore treatment options that are effective and improve their quality of life. Like Ofev and Esbriet, stem cell therapy can stop the progression of IPF, and, even better, has the potential to promote healing. While neither the medications nor stem cell therapy are a cure for IPF, both provide the opportunity for an improved quality of life. It gives patients options.

Mary H. Parks, M.D., deputy director of the Office of Drug Evaluation II in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, commented on the new medication approvals: “Providing health care professionals and patients with additional treatment options helps enable appropriate care decisions based on a patient’s need.”

Stem Cell Therapy

Finding an appropriate treatment option is key when suffering from a debilitating lung disease like IPF. Rather than simply accepting traditional options that only treat symptoms, many patients have already shifted from the complacent healthcare norms to seek out alternative treatment options like stem cell therapy. Now, the industry is catching up with the approval of these two medications.

The Lung Institute is a stem cell clinic in the United States that specializes in treating those who suffer from lung diseases like IPF. The treatment is a three day, minimally-invasive outpatient procedure. Stem cells are harvested from a patient’s blood, fat or bone marrow, processed, and then reintroduced into the body. This procedure speeds up the body’s natural healing process by directing stem cells to damaged tissue. Rather than treating symptoms, it treats the damaged tissue itself. Over 70 percent of Lung Institute patients report an improved quality of life after receiving stem cell therapy.

The Lung Institute is excited about the approval of these medications to treat IPF, which, until recently, was completely incurable. While there still isn’t a cure, Ofev, Esbriet and stem cell therapy are bringing us closer to it, allowing those with IPF to breathe easier. If you or a loved one are suffering from IPF, the Lung Institute might be able to help. Contact one of our patient coordinators today at (800) 729-3065.

2 Comments

  1. PB

    4 months ago

    Dear Thomas,

    Unfortunately, at this time, Medicare doesn’t cover treatment. However, we’re hopeful that treatment will be covered by Medicare and insurance companies in the near future. Keep in mind that it will take some time before the insurance companies and Medicare see a financial benefit in their favor and then decide to cover it. In the meantime, you can learn more about stem cell treatment options and have your questions answered by one of our patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Thomas Loft

    4 months ago

    Is the stem cell procedure cost coveted by Medicare?

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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