Pliant Therapeutics announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation to PLN-74809 for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). 

PLN-74809 is a dual selective inhibitor of the αVβ1 and αVβ6 integrins. It modulates these fibrotic tissue-specific integrins, which selectively block activation of TGF-β, preventing the growth of fibrotic tissue within the lung and liver. Targeting TGF-β signaling in a tissue-specific manner allows the drug to modulate the fibrotic cascade with maximum clinical effects while avoiding adverse events; TGF-β is a regulator of physiological healing and pathological fibrosis. 

The first-in-human trials are being planned for PLN-74809; IPF currently affects approximately 140,000 people in the US. The drug candidate will also be evaluated in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).

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This article originally appeared on MPR