SOURCE: ImmuneWorks

ImmuneWorks

September 19, 2011 06:00 ET

Biotechnology Firm ImmuneWorks Supports Pulmonary Fibrosis Week by Increasing National Recruitment Efforts to Enroll Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Patients in Clinical Trial

INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2011) - Biotechnology firm, ImmuneWorks, is ramping up efforts to support National Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) Awareness Week (September 18-24). IPF is one of the most fatal, yet publicly unrecognized, diseases claiming more and more lives every year. This week ImmuneWorks plans to open four additional clinical trial sites to test its experimental treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The company is increasing national recruitment efforts to enroll IPF patients in its FDA-approved research study.

IPF is a devastating lung disease that is progressive and generally fatal. An estimated 128,000 persons in the United States suffer from IPF, with 48,000 new persons diagnosed annually and 40,000 patients dying from the disease each year (source: Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis). The number of deaths annually is the same as breast cancer and greater than other cancers such as multiple myeloma. Currently no FDA-approved medicines exist for IPF in the United States.

"Since initiating our national IPF clinical trial last year, we have received tremendous support from the medical community as well as overwhelming response from the IPF patient population," said ImmuneWorks' Chief Scientific Officer David S. Wilkes, M.D. "National Pulmonary Fibrosis Week is an ideal time to raise awareness of and support for research efforts toward this fatal disease that affects so many lives. In recognition of this week, we are adding four additional IPF research sites: Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee; University of Miami, in Miami, Florida; University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, in Newark, New Jersey. We hope to conclude enrollment for this study by the end of this year and progress to the next stage in clinical development."

ImmuneWorks has been researching and developing novel therapies and diagnostic products for serious autoimmune diseases of the lung, such as IPF and lung transplantation, since 2006. In 2010 the biotech firm began partnering with major research universities around the country to conduct FDA-approved Phase I clinical trials to test its experimental treatment. This week, ImmuneWorks adds four new universities to its research sites: Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana; Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina; Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio; University of Alabama-Birmingham, in Birmingham, Alabama; University of Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois; University of Louisville, in Louisville, Kentucky; and University of Vermont, in Burlington, Vermont, bringing its total trial locations to eleven. For more information about this Phase I IPF clinical trial and/or to inquire about enrolling a friend or family member, please visit immuneworks.com.

IPF is a devastating disease caused by uncontrolled, relentless and unstoppable scarring in the lungs. According to the American Thoracic Society, the disease has grown in incidence and prevalence by 156 percent in the last several years. Recently, the CDC's report on death rates for 2008 showed that respiratory diseases exceeded strokes and rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States.

About ImmuneWorks
Headquartered in Indianapolis, ImmuneWorks was formed in 2006 to develop and commercialize treatments for serious autoimmune diseases of the lung. Led by founders David Wilkes, MD; Michael Klemsz, PhD; Ronald Meeusen, PhD; and President and CEO Wade Lange, the company has made pioneering scientific discoveries that ImmuneWorks is developing as novel therapies and diagnostic products for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and lung transplantation. In November 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted orphan drug exclusivity to ImmuneWorks' lead compound, IW001, a purified bovine Type V Collagen oral solution. In June 2010, the U.S. FDA granted ImmuneWorks approval to begin clinical trials on the compound. Now, in collaboration with Lung Rx, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR), ImmuneWorks is conducting clinical trials among IPF patients to test the effects of its new drug candidate. For more information about the company, visit the new website at www.ImmuneWorks.com.

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