Examining the Efficacy of Carbon Monoxide Therapy in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: An Interview With Augustine M.K. Choi, MD

In the third of a 4-part series, Augustine M.K. Choi, MD, Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City speaks with Pulmonology Advisor about inhaled carbon monoxide as therapy for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Video Transcript

Pulmonology Advisor: In regard to the phase 2 clinical trial recently published in Chest, what changes might reach the end points or change findings? Perhaps a longer treatment duration or more frequent doses?

Our laboratory program has, in the last 2 decades, focused on how the gaseous molecules that we produce in our body can actually protect against disease processes. We produce about 10 [parts per million] of carbon monoxide. At high levels, in ambient air or through exposure, [carbon monoxide] can be deleterious and even fatal because carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin, which delivers oxygen. In our published research (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01214187), we report that if you administer a low dose of carbon monoxide in models of lung disease, you can provide protection. So, after about 2 decades of preclinical research, we now have been very successful in completing the first phase 1/phase 2a trial of inhaled carbon monoxide in humans with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a dreadful and deadly disease that causes patients to often become bedridden within a couple of years of diagnosis. So, again, this grant represents the translational research component of our program. We are very excited for the next phase, which is the phase 2/phase 3 trial of carbon monoxide in IPF.

Disclosures: Dr. Choi is the cofounder of Proterris, a company that aims to develop CO therapeutically.

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Rosas IO, Goldberg HJ, Collard HR, et al. A phase II clinical trial of low-dose inhaled carbon monoxide in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [published online October 31, 2017]. Chest. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2017.09.052