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Pirfenidone, an antifibrotic drug

Author : Pierre Allain Date : 2010-10-25

Pirfenidone is a synthetic molecule, marketed in Japan since October 2008 as a drug with the indication idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. It is undergoing clinical trials in Europe and USA. Pirfenidone is currently classified as antifibrotic.

Pirfenidone is chemically a simple molecule, see formula:

The experimental data which led to test pirfenidone in humans with diseases where the fibrosis plays an important role are not very clear and the history of the deposit of its patents, especially the first in Japan, is difficult to clarify. The mechanisms of action currently described are numerous and complex as can be expected from the high dose necessary, more than 1g daily.

Concerning the clinical effectiveness of pirfenidone, see for example this paper. As fibrosis and sclerosis are involved in various diseases, many clinical trials are in progress with pirfenidone and its analogues.

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