Long-term use of Roche’s Esbriet to treat the lung-scarring disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis cuts the risk of death by nearly 40%, according to a pooled analysis of clinical data presented at the European Respiratory Society congress in Amsterdam this week.

Combined data from the ASCEND and CAPACITY Phase III studies showed a 38% reduction in the risk of mortality in IPF patients who stayed on Esbriet (pirfenidone) treatment for up to two years versus placebo, compared with a 48% risk reduction after one year’s treatment.

Further ad-hoc analysis of the pooled data also showed that patients hospitalised within the first six months of treatment saw their risk of disease progression/death slashed by more than two-thirds at one year by remaining on Esbriet therapy.

“These additional data show that continuing treatment with Esbriet after early hospitalisation may help slow disease progression,” said Sandra Horning, Roche’s chief medical officer and head of global product development.

The findings are particularly pertinent given the poor prognosis for patients with the condition: half of IPF patients fail to survive just three years following diagnosis, and the five-year survival rate is around 20%-40%. 

Ofev shows long-term efficacy, safety

Meanwhile, Boehringer Ingelheim’s Ofev (nintedanib) has also shown long-term efficacy in slowing disease progression in IPF patients.

According to interim analysis of the INPULSIS-ON extension trial, also presented at ERS 2105, the beneficial effect of the drug on lung function - as measured by change in forced vital capacity from baseline - was maintained over two years, and its tolerability trial remained “manageable”.

Also, a new sub-group analysis from the trial showed that Ofev’s efficacy is not affected by concomitant medicines commonly used by patients with IPF, such as anti-acids and corticosteroids.

The data, says Luca Richeldi, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Southampton, UK, is “very reassuring with regards to the long-term outcomes of treatment with Ofev and its effect on slowing disease progression”.