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Antifibrotics Can Extend Lives


Mayo Clinic Researchers Publish Critical Study:

Antifibrotics Can Extend Lives for IPF Patients

CHICAGO, August 12, 2021 — Mayo Clinic researchers have revealed that patients who are taking antifibrotic drugs for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) had better survival after respiratory hospitalization compared to patients not taking these medications. The study, which was supported by Three Lakes Foundation, was published in the recent issue of BMC Pulmonary Medicine.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a serious lung disease that causes scarring of the lung tissue. “Idiopathic” means the underlying cause of the disease is unknown. Approximately 40-50,000 are diagnosed with PF each year and 40,000 lose their lives to the disease annually. There is currently no cure for IPF.

Andrew H. Limper, MD, a pulmonologist, is an author of the study and is associate dean and director of the Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery at Mayo Clinic.

“To our knowledge, this is the first use of real-world data to evaluate the impact of antifibrotics on hospitalization outcomes,” he said. “Our findings are unique in that we tracked patients — with and without antifibrotics — after a hospitalization event, demonstrating the role antifibrotics have in improving survival for up to two years of therapy as well as in decreasing the number of hospitalizations.”

The study reviewed the de-identified claims data (from a national insurance data warehouse) of nearly 3,000 patients diagnosed with IPF and admitted for a respiratory event. According to the study, it appears that while being on the IPF drugs may not improve mortality during or immediately after hospitalization, the medications did, however, show improved long-term survival following hospitalization.

Historically, IPF patients have grim outcomes when hospitalized. The aim of the Mayo team’s study was to determine if the drugs nintedanib and pirfenidone can reduce mortality, admission in intensive care units or the use of mechanical ventilation while in the hospital.

“This study demonstrates the positive impact of these drugs for people with IPF,” said Bridget Burke, associate director for Three Lakes Foundation. “They are critical therapies to incorporate in the treatment of IPF as we continue our efforts to focus on improving time to diagnosis and delivering next generation of therapies.”

The article, “Outcomes for hospitalized patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis treated with antifibrotic medications,” was the culmination of work from Dr. Limper and the following researchers on the team: Bryan T. Kelly, Viengneesee Thao, Timothy M. Dempsey, Lindsey R. Sangaralingham, Stephanie R. Payne, Taylor T. Teague, Teng Moua, and Nilay D. Shah.

To download and read the article in BMC Pulmonary Medicine, visit:

About Three Lakes Foundation Three Lakes Foundation (TLF) is a nonprofit dedicated to serving as a catalyst for uniting research, industries and philanthropy in pulmonary fibrosis. We connect entrepreneurs, advocates and institutions to an innovation ecosystem that will transform our approach to improve time to diagnosis and accelerate new therapies. To learn more, visit


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