A new clinical published in Arthritis & Rheumatology reveals that nintedanib, a medication that helps prevent changes to lung tissue, may help patients with fibrosing autoimmune disease-related interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), which are a common manifestation of systemic autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
In the trial, 170 patients with autoimmune disease-related ILDs were randomized to nintedanib or placebo. Investigators assessed patients’ forced vital capacity (FVC), or the maximum amount of air one can forcibly exhale from the lungs after fully inhaling. (FVC is a predictor of mortality in patients with autoimmune disease-associated ILDs.)
The rate of decline in FVC over one year was -75.9 mL/year with nintedanib versus -178.6 mL/year with placebo.
“Until now, therapies that can significantly reduce the rate of decline in lung function in connective tissue disease–related ILDs characterized by progressive fibrosis have been lacking. We now have a therapeutic approach that offers a strategy for reducing the morbidity associated with these diseases,” said lead author Eric L. Matteson, MD, MPH, of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.