Pulmonary Fibrosis Research, Patient Care Gets a Boost

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Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) have announced a five-year partnership in an effort to raise awareness for the disease and provide patients with disease education. Boehringer Ingelheim’s investment will also contribute to research funding of early diagnosis techniques and new therapies.

Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF), a type of interstitial lung disease, affects the tissue that supports the alveoli in the lung. It is characterized by the inflammation or accumulation of scar tissue in the lung, leading to failure of proper lung activity and lung ability to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream. PF can occur as the consequence of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic sclerosis, occupational exposures, or environmental factors. Certain medications to treat infections and heart disease can also cause pulmonary fibrosis. When the cause of the fibrosis is not known, the disease is determined to be idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF), a nonprofit organization founded in 2000, has a series of programs designed to inform and assist both PF patients and clinicians. The new partnership will mainly focus on two of these programs: the PFF Care Center Network (CNN) and the PFF Patient Registry. The CNN is comprised of 21 medical centers across 20 U.S. states that collaborate in sharing information and delivering specialized care to PF patients and families. The foundation plans to expand this multi-center program to 40 sites. The soon-to-be-launched PFF Patient Registry will collect medical data from patients to inform medical staff and researchers of the best course of treatment, disease progression and new potential therapeutic targets.

Al Masucci, vice president, IPF Business Unit, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, said of the partnership goals, in a press release, “This five year partnership with the PFF will offer critical support and resources for people living with these devastating diseases. As an industry leader in respiratory care, we are proud to offer our continued support to the broader pulmonary fibrosis community.  We are pleased to partner with the PFF in its efforts to empower patients to obtain an early diagnosis, high-quality medical care and to advance research leading to healthier outcomes and better quality of life.”

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