Using genetics to identify drug targets for fibrotic lung diseases
Researchers recently conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify factors that increase susceptibility to the incurable lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Here, Dr Richard Allen shares some of the study’s key findings.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a deadly lung disease that currently has no cure. In individuals with IPF, we believe the lungs experience repetitive microinjury (for example from inhaled dusts, viral infections, etc,) and an abnormal repair response leading to the deposit of scar tissue.1 This scar tissue builds up, resulting in stiffening of the lungs and impairing of gas transfer between the lungs and bloodstream. Over time, this leads to reduced lung health and a poorer quality of life, as half of patients diagnosed with IPF die within three to five years.1,4