Cipla launches first generic pirfenidone in India

New Delhi: Mumbai-based Cipla today said it had introduced pirfenidone in India; under the brand name Pirfenex, for the treatment of IPF, a chronic progressive form of lung disease with average survival rates as low as 3-5 years.

It said in a statement that till now there was no approved treatment for IPF.  "Pirfenidone is a novel anti-fibrotic drug    which through clinical trials has shown to slowdown progression of this terminal disease and stabilise lung function.

Cipla's technical prowess along with leadership in terms of range of drugs and therapeutic categories in the respiratory segment, is leading the fight to provide world class affordable treatment for patients with orphan diseases. Commenting on the launch, Dr. J Gogtay, Medical Director, Cipla said, ''The launch of Pirfenex is a significant step forward. With increased availability and affordability, Pirfenex could now offer hope to those afflicted with this condition.''

"Pirfenex will be manufactured at Cipla's manufacturing facility at Himachal Pradesh, which is approved by WHO, MCC –South Africa and TGA – Australia," the staement said.

Cipla said it will host and disseminate a series of lectures on IPF to physicians in India and across the world.

According to Prof Luca Richeldi, director, Center for Rare Lung Diseases, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, "Patients affected by IPF have a distinctively poor prognosis, and until now no drugs have been approved to treat IPF. Pirfenidone represents the first concrete chance of slowing down disease progression. The effect on increasing progression free survival, as showed in three combined studies, coupled with an acceptable safety profile, opens up a new path for better management of IPF."

Last year Cipla launched the world's first generic Bosentan, for the treatment of pulmonary aterial hypertension.