Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
IPF is a severe life-threatening lung disease characterized by a progressive and irreversible decline in lung function.
The most common symptoms of IPF are shortness of breath and a dry persistent cough. As the disease progresses, the breathing difficulties and lack of oxygen to the tissue leads to a wide variety of symptoms such as weight loss, aching muscles, chronic fatigue and, in many cases, eventually death.
Patients with IPF generally have a poor prognosis with a mean survival between two to five years, and there is a high unmet medical need for safe and well-tolerated medicines that can halt, and potentially reverse, its progression. Galecto is developing an inhaled galectin-3 inhibitor – GB0139. In a phase IIa trial in IPF, GB0139 was safe and well tolerated, and demonstrated unprecedented effects on important biomarkers of disease activity.
Galectins have been implicated in a number of immune-inflammatory mechanisms that can drive tissue injury, fibrosis, and tumor progression. For example, macrophages are an important source of gal-3 which are then activated and able to alter the micro-environment to cause tissue damage, and ultimately scarring (fibrosis).