Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (OTC: RHHBY), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Esbriet® (pirfenidone) for adults with unclassifiable interstitial lung disease (uILD). The designation was granted based on data from a Phase II trial, which studied the efficacy and safety of Esbriet in uILD. The study represented the first randomized controlled trial to exclusively enroll patients with progressive fibrosing uILD.
"Today's milestone for Esbriet builds on our continued commitment to improving the standard of care for people living with fibrotic lung diseases," said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. "We look forward to discussing the data with the FDA with the hope of bringing our important medicine to those with uILD who are currently without a treatment option."
ILD is a term that broadly describes a diverse group of more than 200 types of rare pulmonary diseases. While ILDs share similar features, including cough and shortness of breath, each ILD has different causes, treatment approaches, and outlooks. Approximately 10% of people living with ILD reviewed by a multidisciplinary team cannot be given a definitive diagnosis, even after a thorough investigation, and in these cases, people are categorized as having uILD.
The Phase II data supporting Breakthrough Therapy Designation were recently presented as a late-breaking abstract at the 2019 European Respiratory Society's annual meeting and simultaneously published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The data suggested Esbriet slowed disease progression and supported its efficacy on a number of lung function parameters including forced vital capacity (FVC), in people with uILD. The safety and tolerability profile of Esbriet in people with uILD was comparable with that observed in Phase III trials in people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Breakthrough Therapy Designation is designed to accelerate the development and review of medicines intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions with preliminary evidence that indicates they may demonstrate a substantial improvement over existing therapies. This is the 33rd Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Genentech's portfolio of medicines.